Panera Bread: Fresh Ingredients, Quality Food


One thing I judge in a restaurant is whether or not former employees will eat there again. Having worked in restaurants I can tell you that many of the things that you see behind the scene can send you running, and running fast. There have been places I have worked that after spending time in the kitchen and either seeing really poor sanitary choices or poor choices in food quality; I simply won’t eat there again. So it was important to me to know that all of the people I know and a few people who left comments on the last Panera post who had worked there….still eat there. This speaks volumes. Volumes. In fact, most of them still crave it. :)

Panera Bread is one of the few companies in the food industry to have thrived so far in our not so awesome economy, and the reason why that is, they stick to what they do best: Fresh Ingredients, Quality Food. Let’s take their strawberries for example. I mentioned in my last post that I love their Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad. Can you get strawberries year round? Of course, but they choose to highlight them at their best. You can hear more about their strawberries and other Panera foods here. What makes Panera so yummy is that everything is fresh. They are making/baking food from scratch. They make their loaves fresh each morning, and when they are out they are out. Which makes for a cranky Peabody sometimes if I miss out on my favorite bread, which if you are wondering is the Honey Wheat. Now, I personally like to bake my own bread. There is something therapeutic about it. But bread does take time, especially good bread, and so when I need to buy bread for things like bread pudding (I like the Cinnamon Raisin for that), that is where I go. Though I have yet to try the Asiago Bagel that everyone is telling me is a must. Next trip, I promise.

So does it matter to you? Does it matter if a restaurant uses quality ingredients? That breads are baked from scratch? Is that one of the things you like about Panera Bread?
(As always I was compensated for this posts but the ramblings, opinions, and bad grammar are all my own)

You can keep up with what’s new with Panera by going to their Facebook Page or the Panera Bread website.

Comments

  1. Definitely. That is the most important thing to me. I have worked in a few restaurants myself and surprisingly still eat at all of them. Fresh ingredients are super important to me- which is why Panera ranks high with me. Q’doba is another one that I absolutely love.

  2. That seems like a really excellent gage of a restaurant.

  3. I love that particular salad you’re talking about. Glad to hear such high marks for Panera. I do think their bread is top notch.

  4. I so wish there was a Panera Bread where I live. After reading this I will certainly look for one when I am traveling.

  5. Yes; it matters. I am much more aware of things like that now than I used to be.
    Unfortunately, it seems hard to find “chain restaurants” that hold themselves to that kind of standard these days.

  6. I love Panera! And yes, it matters to me too.

  7. It definitely matters! Panera is one of the few chains where I know I can always get a fresh, crunchy salad. In fact, I’ve stopped going to most other sandwich/salad/soup chains after one too many salads with brown or wilted lettuce.

    In fact, I just had Panera’s Greek salad today! Delicious (as was the brownie I got free with my Panera card!).

  8. K.I.L.L.E.R. sundae in the previous post! :)

    I like Panera too….and get mad when my favorite loaf is gone. I try to get there early, but can’t always manage it. I’ve had that asiago bagel. Toasted, it’s Yum.

  9. I think that is THE most important thing to me about a restaurant/dining establishment! Since I spend so much time at home caring about where my food comes from, I’m not going to throw away my money on restaurant food when the restaurant doesn’t give a damn. Good to know that Panera is quality. I bake all of my own breads but if I ever find myself in a fix, I’ll know where to go!

  10. good to hear positive things from former panera employees! i have friends that leave restaurant jobs and say “don’t ever eat ____ cos…” or “thank god i never have to eat that crap again!” panera and their amazingly delicious portions makes me wish i was one of those really-high-metabolism people ..with an unlimited checking account.

    and yes asiago bagels are definitely the way to go! and the 3cheese bread. really, cheese + bread = perfection.

  11. I really, really want them to open here in Hawaii. I think they would do so well with both the tourists and the locals.

  12. I love Panera too! And the Asiago bagels are out of this world :)

  13. Unfortunately, not everything is fresh at even Panera. Their pastas and some of their pastries come in on the truck frozen. However, it’s still a much better choice than most every other “fast food” place out there!

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