Panera… mmmm

I have found my cafe, and it is good.
Thus saith Rob.
When I left Dallas over 2 months ago, I was sad to leave my favorite eatery, Atlanta Bread Company, a warm soup & sandwich shop that specialized in homemade breads and fresh ground coffees. I went there a lot to read during lunch. It was such an inviting little place, a break away from the city madness.

Well, I found a worthy successor: Panera Bread.Panera Bread

And I dare say, this place is even more quaint and home-like. Both cafes are chain stores, yet they’ve done well to emulate the Starbucks coziness factor.

Tonight, I sat next to a warm gas-powered faux fireplace and ate my wonderful dinner while reading Narnia. Here’s what I got:

Vegetarian Roasted Tomato & Pepper Bisque
Vegetarian Roasted Tomato & Pepper Bisque

Frontega Chicken Panini
Frontega Chicken Panini

Oh, one other little tidbit that really won me over — the employee who took my order actually asked me (I didn’t have to ask him!) if this order was “for here”. Hence a ceramic mug was given me, rather than a cheap cardboard cup for coffee. Imagine that! After all, what good is all this nice atmosphere if you can’t eat and drink from welcoming ceramic?

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  1. I think Panera came before Atlanta.

    My favorite thing from Panera/Atlanta is the chocolate croissant. The gas station we hit before leaving Denver had an Atlanta Bread case in it. Coffee and that chocolate were a nice treat on the early start back.

  2. Panera Bread does sound a lot like Atlanta Bread. They don’t happen to have Curry Chicken Salad on thier menu, do they?

  3. James and I LOVE their coffee. Sometimes when we are out and about, James will run in and get us their delicious coffee to go. Really good coffee is a wonderful find!

  4. I’ve heard that Atlanta isn’t as good as Panera. I LOVE Panera…one of my favorite places to eat. The soups and sandwiches are amazing and it is a very cozy atmosphere. I’ve had many work lunches at Panera and have also done many birthday and Christmas gift exchanges there. Glad you’ve gotten on the Panera bandwagon!

  5. We all went there for breakfast one morning. The bill came to over $15! The girls were still very hungry afterwords. lol

  6. Yeah, we don’t make it there very often. It’s not that kid friendly and way too pricey for the whole family. Like James said, we took the family there for breakfast and when we left the kids were complaining that they were still hungry. 😐

    I’ll have to try this Frontega Chicken sometime.

  7. The Frontega Chicken is amazing!!! One of my favorite sandwiches from any restaurant anywhere. The food is kind of expensive but if you go for lunch and just get the sandwich or any of the ‘you pick 2’ combos you will get filled up. They briefly had a Portabello Mushroom Bisque that was terrific!!!

  8. Well, I guess I’ve been a singleton too long, because I actually found their prices to be pretty reasonable.

    In fact, Panera here in Colorado (remember, +5% cost of living increase from Texas) is cheaper for a full meal than ABC in Dallas. Same goes for Peaberry coffee versus Starbucks. Go fig.

  9. Like gas prices.

    $2.23 in my town…went to a larger city over the weekend, saw it about the same until we crossed over one of those invisible city lines and it jacked up to $2.51!!

  10. Ahh Rob I’m jealous, another one of my favorites (Penera) that we don’t have up here. Okay, so talk about prices… I live out in the middle of no where and you would think that prices would be super cheap. But no… they are insane. Grocery stores here raise the prices of even normal items. And gas is anywhere from 50-80 cents more expensive. Insane! 😯

  11. Rob..I didn’t read every comment above. But, we have Panera Bread in Dallas too. Had you never been there? Actually, I don’t think I’ve been there. But, I’m pretty sure my sister has and loves it.

  12. Panera is wonderful…but in the pictures above, that is neither the tom roasted red pepper soup nor the Frontega. Those are the garden vegetable soup and the new chicken bacon dijon panini. Nonetheless, the Frontega is awesome…just don’t look at the fat and caloric content, cuz it’s through the roof!


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