I make it no secret that I'm not fan of Panera. It's one of those places that I can't understand how they do so well; perhaps a commentary on the taste of the average person. I heard about their "hidden menu", which are low-carb "bowls" that fits my current diet. I'm having another low calorie day so I can't really eat out; so today was a good day to try this.jump-->
I hit the joint at 10:45 and there was only 1 person on line in front of me. I ordered the egg white turkey bowl, which is $5.29, and a bottle of water. I paid, got a beeper and proceeded to the pick up area.
The two people working behind the counter were downright incompetent. There were 4 people waiting, and awaiting. A number of things came out, but no bowls. There was another buy waiting for the bowl also.
Panera Bread N Federal Counter
The manager came over and in a fit of frustration put on some gloves and started to make the bowls, which apparently weren't even in progress yet. My beeper went off, but still no bowl. I was standing right there...it took 16 minutes to get my bowl. The 2 of them came out together; she just put them on the counter without indicating which was which, so I grabbed on. I later discovered that it was the wrong one, because the check didn't match mine. Oh well.
The bowl itself was a random collection of stuff; a poorly conceived corporate concoction that failed on many levels.
panera egg while Turkey Bowl
I also discovered that there is no salt or pepper at Panera; at least not on the tables or the main silverware/condiments counter. Fantastic. Love egg whites and turkey with no salt.>
Panera egg while turkey bowl
I suppose I could chalk this up as a purpose meal, but at least the stuff I make at home has some taste, even if it's not exactly what I want to eat. This bowl doesn't make much sense; egg whiles with raw spinach? They could make an omelet that would be 10x better.
What's really stupid about this is that you could make this at any supermarket salad bar for about $2. And I wouldn't have to wait 15 minutes for it.
Another loser from Panera Bread.
I've never been a fan of Panera Bread, but they keep roping me in. I guess the success of the chain can be traced to some pretty good marketing. But I don't understand how they can gain a following with lousy, overpriced food.
This particular location is pretty nice, with booths, tables and an outdoor patio. They have a bakery section and a cafe section which breaks up the crowd a bit. For the cafe you place your order and they give you one of those flashing gizmos that tell you when the food is ready.
In my previous visits, I've never liked anything I've had. I don't like their coffee. Its not terrible; its just not good. Their iced tea is more like kool-aid and I find it undrinkable. Their chicken salad sandwich is made with bread that will challange your dental work, and it has grapes and almonds in it. Yucksters. So why did I come back? I forgot, I guess. I heard about their new Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad and I wanted to try it.
The salad is wholly disappointing from head to toe. First, it was completely different than what I expected. Its 80% lettuce and field greens; I'll bet there wasn't even 1 tomato in it. There's also a small amount of mozzarella cheese; and its not very good cheese either. Thankfully they put the dressing in a container so I could put some of my own Olive Oil Vinegrette on it. There were maybe 2 cucumber slices; what a ripoff for $8.95.
I suppose its my fault. There's a reason people avoid places they didn't like on previous visits. Next time I'll remember.
Panera Bread 5975 N Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale FL, 33308 (04/30/2015)
Panera Bread 2699 S University Dr Davie FL, 33328 (08/17/2013)