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National chain of restaurants specializing in soups and sandwiches

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Superior baked goods, soups and sandwiches and a comfortable place to enjoy them.

  • Sep 24, 2009
Rating:
+4
OK, I admit it.  I'm addicted to carbs.  I know they are not good for me but what the heck.  I don't smoke or drink or do drugs.  Something is going to kill me and it just might be bread.  Since Panera Bread opened in our town a few years back my wife and I have become increasingly partial to this place.  After all, what's not to like?  This chain of bakery-cafes offers the most comfortable and inviting environment around.  You never feel rushed or cramped at Panera.  More importantly, the baked goods are fabulous.  And if you are so disposed the free Wi-Fi Hotspots make Panera a great place to get some work done while you munch on your muffin and drink your cup of java.  Panera is the quintessental "third place" that everyone seems to be looking for these days. 

My wife and I generally go to Panera fairly early on weekend mornings.  We usually grab a cup of coffee and a bagel.  We especially like the Multigrain which we both agree is the tastiest bagel in the joint.  Every once in a while we will change up and have a scone.  There are so many great varieties including orange, cinnamon, and blueberry.  The cinnamon rolls and danish are to die for but we find they are a bit too rich for us.  As I mentioned earlier, what we enjoy most about Panera is that you never ever feel rushed.  Here we can take our sweet time and kind of catch up on the week's events.  And more often than not we run into friends and neighbors while we are there.  Very nice!

Oddly enough we have never had lunch or dinner at Panera.  I am told that the soups and sandwiches are excellent. But every couple of weeks when we are having soup or chili for supper I stop by Panera and grab a loaf of the Multigrain baguetteThis just might be the best loaf of bread I have ever eaten.  I could make a meal out of this bread alone.  We both like to dip this bread in olive oil.  Simply outstanding!  Nice and crunchy on the outside and most and tender on the inside.    

As national chains go I would have to rank Panera right at the top of the list.   Doing business at Panera has always been a very pleasant experience.  Great products,  friendly people and an extremely inviting atmosphere.     Very highly recommended!
Panera 4 Panera 3 Panera 1 Panera 2

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September 24, 2009
Hi Paul....I'm partial to this place as well because the chain was started with just a few stores right here in St. Louis circa 1989. Did you know that??? I remember when they opened their first store....it was called the St. Louis Bread Company. We now refer to it as Bread Co. There's one right behind our house, where I take all of our family members when they come to town. They love it too. In St. Louis, it's still called The St. Louis Bread Company. When they were bought out several years ago and went national, that's when they decided to call it Panera Bread, as St. Louis Bread means nothing to people in other parts of the country. Try some of their soups and sandwiches. My husband and I eat dinner at Bread Co. at least once a week....the fat-free Chicken Noodle Soup is delicious!
 
September 24, 2009
Paul, It seems that you have only eaten breakfast here and I have only had lunch & dinner here (I had a breakfast sandwich of egg and cheese about 2 weeks ago for my only breakfast). The sandwiches are great (though I prefer the bread used by Cosi in their sandwiches) and the soups are about the best you will find from a fast food place. I have to try the breakfast sometime. Devora had recommended the souffles.
September 24, 2009
Thanks for your comments. They seem to fill in the rest of the Panera story pretty well. I will have to try Panera for Lunch in the near future. Bon appetit!
October 02, 2009
Had a spinach and artichoke souffle today and it was pretty good. Like a quiche.
 
September 24, 2009
I'm a huge fan of Panera and I do have to say that their sandwiches and soups are delicious!  I usually get the half soup/half sandwich combo with a cup of French Onion and the asiago roast beef sandwich!  great place!  I also always go to Chipotle as my go-to place!   
 
1
More Panera Bread reviews
review by . June 19, 2010
posted in The Bluff
Whether it's the Panera by Trader Joe's in Westchester or the one in the Marina, it never lets me down. I could go to Panera for breakfast, lunch and dinner however breakfast is my all time favorite. I used to only go there for lunch and get a different amazing salad every time, but one time I decided to go for breakfast and it has now become my favorite spot for anything blueberry.      The first time I went for breakfast I got coffee and a blueberry bagel. Unlike bagels …
Quick Tip by . October 09, 2010
For fast food this is amazingly good and pretty healthy.
review by . August 11, 2010
The closest Panera to my residence is about 25 miles, but my wife and I go there on a regular basis, mainly to pick up a baker's dozen of bagels. Since we can't get genuine New York City bagels in our area, Panera has second best, and certainly the best we can get! Additionally, they offer really good food at reasonable prices, and food that tends to be good for you. They also sell baked goodies that probablyaren't good for you but just taste terrific! Their bread is excellent also, …
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
I love going to Panera because I know the food will be delicious, the atmosphere relaxing, and I can get in and out quickly. They are always consistent, and I absolutely LOVE the bread bowls. Yummy!
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Love Panera bread!
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Panera has opened up a shop that is an honor system pay place. Those who cannot afford to eat, can eat for free, or what they can afford. Hopefully people will not take advantage, but this is a good thing ! Look them up on yahoo news.
review by . March 02, 2009
It's got more ambiance than Starbucks (and more food, too.) Despite the fact that it's a chain, Panera does a fabulous job at making every location feel like you're stopping into a local neighborhood cafe, complete with a fireplace and warm decor. The menu offers a nice combination of fabulous and sandwiches, soups, and salads that are several steps up from fast food joints...and probably healthier, too. They also boast a wealth of bakery items like breads, pastries, coffee drinks, and teas as well. …
Quick Tip by . September 04, 2009
Mmmmm, love their bagels, breakfast souffles and baked potato soup! So craving the latter right now.
Quick Tip by . September 04, 2009
Panera Bread Company cafes....great sandwiches, delicious soups...fast service, locations across the country...one of my favorites...
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

Panera Bread is a chain of cafe-bakery restaurants located throughout the United States. They sell breads, sandwiches, soups, salads, bakery items, and organic foods; some locations offer dinner pizzas. Other items include a wide variety of coffees, hot chocolates, and smoothies.  All of their stores have comfy chairs for customers to sit and read or eat their baked goods and sandwiches. A large percentage of their restaurants also have free internet access. Panera is considered a "fast casual" restaurant and offers catering as well. It is headquartered in Saint Louis, Missouri.

In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co. purchased the Saint Louis Bread Company, which was founded by Ken Rosenthal. At the same time, the St. Louis Bread Company was renovating its 20 bakery-cafés in the St. Louis area.

In May 1999, to expand Panera Bread into a national restaurant, Au Bon Pain Co. sold its other chains, including Au Bon Pain, which is now owned by Compass Group North America. Au Bon Pain Co. then renamed itself Panera Bread. The company operates or franchises 1,272 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in 40 states and 17 facilities that deliver fresh dough to the bakery-cafés every day. Panera Bread's CEO is Ron Shaich.

In its headquarters city of St. Louis, Panera Bread still operates under the name St. Louis Bread Company. The St. Louis metropolitan area has over 50 locations.

In 2005, Panera ranked 37th on BusinessWeek's list of "Hot Growth Companies", ...

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