This was my first visit to Panera Bread, and I have to say I was not disappointed. While it was a bit crowded and take out service a tad slow, all in all the experience was pleasant, matched only by my surprise at the heartiness of the Italian Combo sandwich that I ordered. The bread was fresh as promised, and the meat and cheese was plentiful. I'm not fond of Swiss cheese and would prefer a different variety on an Italian sandwich, but I enjoyed the sandwich - well, half of it - overall. I'm not sure if it's because the bread is so dense (this sandwich is served on fresh-baked Ciabatta), or the size of the sandwich, but I could not finish it in one sitting, which makes the $7 I spent stretch even farther. Good value overall.
547 N Glendale AveGlendale, CA 91206
A small quiet sandwich shop with good food, good service and good prices. Their take home dinners are good too, a little pricey but plenty of food.
After finding a favorite sandwich - the Italian Combo - and having a not-so-great Caesar Salad here, I decided to try Panera's French Onion Soup and was pleasantly surprised! You can get a cup with a half-sandwich or salad, or get a bowl served with your choice of crusty french bread, chips (huh?) or an apple. Plus, if you sign up for their "My Panera" program, you'll accumulate some tasty free treats in no time at all. The service here is good, the place is always clean, and it's a nice change of pace from some of the other places along Brand Blvd. Oh - and their shortbread isn't too bad, either!
Yes, it's fast food, and it's nothing earth shattering. But it's hard to get relatively fast food, takeout or otherwise, that has a lot of healthy options, and Panera does. You can get actual whole-grain baguette, an apple or baked chips if you don't want all the fatty sides. Dressing's always on the side when it's to-go (ask for it when dining in), and the proteins are pretty lean, as are at least one of the soup of the day options. I'm a fan of the Greek salad with chicken. Yum!