Friday, January 26, 2007

Dining critic candidate No. 34

Panera Bread

1832 Southgate Rd

Panera Bread, fast food done right!

Many people driving by would think by its name that this shop is just a bakery. Those who love fresh bread, soup and salads know it as a favorite any time of day.

The shop opens early to accommodate the morning bagel and pastry crowd, with the option of dinning in or taking out. I highly recommend the French toast bagel to those of you who are graduating from donuts, and the Asiago cheese bagels are great for sandwich making.

The “You-Pick-Two” menu option for lunch and dinner allows you to choose two items from the five different soups, nine salads, and eighteen different sandwiches. Soup selection can vary by season and many times, more than five soup choices are available. You also get a choice of side item; a cup of fresh fruit or a French or whole wheat baguette.

I decided to try the Chicken Bacon Dijon sandwich along with a Greek Salad. The sandwich came fresh from the grill and was still toasty warm. There were thick slices of chicken, topped with bacon, tomatoes and red onions with just enough Dijon to add spice. The Greek salad was generously sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese, plenty of Kalamata olives, and with just the right amount of dressing to make the crisp lettuce flavorful.

Panera offers an amazing array of drinks, from specialty teas, sodas, and coffees. I however, took advantage of their free cup of water with a slice of lemon.

Although Panera was busy, the atmosphere didn’t make one feel rushed. The people taking my order were friendly and didn’t mind customers congregating at tables to visit or read.

The next time you’re thinking fast food, try Panera Bread - good food done fast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first and last lines sound like they came from a commercial. If there is such a large selection of soups and sandwiches giving some examples is far more interesting than giving a number.

8:10 AM  

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