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1.25.2011

Panera Bread - Come, Sit, Eat, Stay Awhile

It was the year 1999.

I was saying goodbye to college. Goodbye to my little life as I knew it living in Santa Barbara. Goodbye to friends. Goodbye to the little hole-in-wall coffee place where I studied for final exams.  Goodbye to my favorite thinking spot inside the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Goodbye to the best piece of Peanut Butter Pie I have ever tasted. And goodbye to that little known "bread company" where I could get freshly baked bread by the slice or loaf.

For me, Panera Bread reminds me of that little bread company (that incidentally is no longer there in SB). I walk in and it feels inviting to me, almost as if to say: "Come, sit, eat, stay awhile." With their Bakery-Cafes I can have that fresh baked bread I longed for, sliced and wrapped around delicious sandwich eats. I can choose to take home a warm cinnamon raisin loaf with my family or enjoy it over a hot dark roast cup of coffee and free Wi-fi (they were one of the first national eateries to offer it).


This is the display that greets you when you first walk in. Fresh baked bread and pastries. Yes, please!


If you are familiar with Panera Bread, (there are locations all over the United States) then you know the delicious taste and exceptional value of the "you pick two". It's my "go-to" menu item. 


French Onion and the Smoked Ham and Swiss....Um, hello comfort food goodness!


I also love that Panera has healthy and yet hearty options for kids. From their Horizon Organic Milk to their new "better for you" menu options like the Strawberry Granola Parfait: wholesome recipe created by Panera's head baker Tom Gumpel for his daughter Olivia with maple pecan granola, organic yogurt, fresh strawberries.

Have you ever been to Panera Bread? What's your favorite thing to get?

I was given a gift card to go and sample items of my choosing off the Panera Bread menu and share with you why I love Panera. I was also compensated for this post, which makes it advertorial content and not a review. Either way, I still think Panera rocks and can't recommend it enough. I am among a group of bloggers who will be taking part in a 3 month promotion for Panera Bread and will be getting to share more delicious goodness with you.

10 comments:

  1. I love Panera Bread - especially the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich. Yummy!

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  2. So jealous! I LOVE Panera, it really is the best. I tend to beeline right to the You Pick Two myself. Although I am completely in love with the broccoli soup!

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  3. I love Panera. Their french onion soup is just the best.

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  4. Ok, I'm so jealous of you right now! 3 months of fabulous Panera Goodness? YUM!

    It's been a long time since I've been there, but there make many a sandwich that I love. And there soups? Dreamy.

    But the one tried and true complete fave is the Asiago bagel and cream cheese, with a caramel latte. I know that no matter what taste testing mood I'm in, that is the one eat that never disappoints.

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  5. I LOVE Panera. C and I went a few weeks back for a mommy and me lunch date, it was her first time since leaving VA she had been. We had such a blast and as always the food is amazing!

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  6. I'm from the St Louis area and around here we call the place St Louis Bread Company and I've been LOVING that place for close to 20 years. Yep! That place is amazing. I totally love their Broccoli Cheddar soup. My daughter started eating that soup at 6 months old and still loves it...she's almost 6 years old!

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  7. I love panera as well! i like the chicken noodle and the broccoli cheese! and the sandwiches, and bagels!

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  8. I love Panera! Whenever I'm starting a new writing project, I head there with my earphones and sit back with a latte, a bowl of soup or a sandwich, and turn my play list on. It lets me kick back and plot out my book without my kids interrupting my thoughts every two minutes.

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  9. I love their french onion soup and their asian chicken salad is delicious, too. The cinnamon bagels and asiago cheese bagels are really yummy for breakfast. My kids love their grilled cheese meals :)

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  10. Thanks for posting this! It inspired me to take my 2-year-old out for a nice Panera lunch. I was totally impressed by the kids menu. I also love that they give you options with the sides... chips, roll, or apple. They have so many great, healthy options. Umm... and cookies! Lots of cookies. :)

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