There is a good reason why the word “bread” is highlighted in Panera Bread’s name, and it is clearly evident when you visit the Grossmont Center location of this popular bakery restaurant.
The display of delicious, fresh-baked loaves tempts you as soon as you enter. The sheer variety is mouthwatering: unique flavors such as Tomato Basil, Artisan Ciabatta, Whole Grain Asiago Cheese, and Sea Salt Foccacia, as well as traditional favorites such as Sourdough and Classic White. But don’t fill up on bread, because there is a lot of great other food on the menu, too.
“We want our customers to feel as if they are coming home when they come to Panera Bread,” says Manager Karina Estrada. “That means everyone is greeted with a smile and a friendly attitude, they can customize their order the way they like it, and the food is fresh, healthy, and prepared with care.”
In fact, Panera Bread’s mission is to serve “food as it should be.” To fulfill that ambition, the chain has a six-point “food promise”:
- Ingredients are sourced from farms that grow or raise them responsibly.
- The menu can be personalized, with everything ordered to your specifications. There are also menus tailored to special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or low-sodium.
- Food is clean, meaning there are no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
- Panera meals are nutrient-rich, offering a wealth of vitamins and minerals. The bakery restaurant even employs a registered dietitian to ensure meals are well balanced.
- The restaurant prides itself on being transparent with customers. Currently, Panera Bread’s wellness and sustainability goals and initiatives are being reviewed and revamped for a Responsibility Report, which will be released in 2020.
- Every meal is meant to be savored and enjoyed.
That last goal is easily accomplished. The diverse menu features a bevy of tasty options that are sure to leave you feeling satisfied at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start your morning right with something simple and sweet. The pastry selection is delightful, with items such as the Vanilla Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Croissant, Pecan Braid, and Cranberry Orange Muffin. If you have a heartier appetite, dig into a breakfast meal. Try a savory wrap with flavors such as Chipotle Chicken and Mediterranean Egg White. You can also have a bagel (choices include blueberry and sesame), and French Toast, either on its own or as part of a Steak & Egg Sandwich. (You can also order breakfast sandwiches on the famous Panera bread.) Low-carb lovers are particular fans of the Baked Egg Souffles, which are light and airy but still pack a punch, flavor-wise. They include the Four Cheese and Spinach & Bacon.
If Panera Bread is a popular breakfast spot, it is even more so for lunch and dinner. The staples are soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and bowl meals. The options for each of those categories are so diverse that it can be hard to narrow down your choices—and that is where the You Pick Two option comes in especially handy! You can combine two half orders to make one totally delicious meal. But what to choose? If you fancy a soup, you can go for the New England Clam Chowder, Bistro French Onion, or Baked Potato. Match it up with a Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken, a Greek Salad, a Bacon Tomato Grilled Cheese, or a Modern Caprese Sandwich. You can mix and match to your taste buds’ content!
Another You Pick Two option, and one of Panera Bread’s most popular dishes is the Mac & Cheese. This is not just any macaroni and cheese; perfectly cooked shell pasta is enrobed in a fantastically creamy sauce made from Vermont white cheddar cheese. The plain Mac & Cheese is a classic, but Panera has found ways to make it even better with unique flavors such as Baja Mac & Cheese, BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese, and Bacon Mac & Cheese.
Panera Bread rounds out its menu with wonderful bowls. Full of healthy and savory ingredients, these bowls are ripe with flavor and make for a nutritious meal. For instance, the Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl with Cage-Free Egg is a bountiful blend of its namesake ingredients along with organic brown rice, fresh kale, and spinach, and a tomato sofrito, and the broth is a piquant umami soy-miso. The flavors, colors, and overall presentation appeal to all your senses.
Don’t forget to add a drink and dessert to your meal! In addition to fountain drinks and bottled beverages, there are thirst-quenching choices such as the Blood Orange Lemonade, Iced Caffe Mocha, Iced Madagascar Vanilla Latte, and the Superfruit Smoothie with Greek Yogurt. On the sweet side, the bakery restaurant is renowned for tantalizing desserts such as the Campfire S’mores Bar, Homestyle Chocolate Chunk Cookie, and Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookie.
Panera Bread offers prompt to-go service, or you can dine at the restaurant in a warm and welcoming environment. The goal is to make guests happy with the customer service as well as the food. And that is a You Pick Two combination that makes Panera Bread a popular and reliable choice for a great meal. The next time you are at Grossmont Center, stop at Panera Bread for delicious food—and don’t forget to purchase a loaf of bread to take with you and re-create the Panera experience at home!