Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Panera Bread...and More

I was recently given the opportunity to have lunch at my local Panera Bakery Cafe to try one of their newly developed soups.  I've been going to Panera for a few years now, as it's one of my go-to spots when one of my BFF's and myself get together for lunch.

I went on a late afternoon, after the always busy lunch rush.  Panera has a 'You Pick 2' option that includes a cup of soup and a half of any of their cafe sandwiches.  I chose the Sonoma Chicken Stew and paired it with the Turkey Asiago sandwich.  While I waited for my order to arrive, I enjoyed one of the perks of living in Los Angeles.  Invariably, wherever you go, one of the many conversations you will overhear includes 'the industry.'  At the next table over, I eavesdropped on two young couples discussing where they should go to shoot the next scene in their movie.  After a few minutes of discussion, they all agreed it could be done at one of their apartments.  Be sure to look out for this next blockbuster.

My meal arrived and I went right to the soup.  The Sonoma Chicken Stew has a very flavorful creamy base full of shredded chicken, peas, carrots, and potatoes.  I have to tell you, I was amazed at the carrots.  They looked like little marbles.  I visited the Panera website and discovered that those carrots are called Thumbelina carrots.  You learn something new every day!  The soup also had a slight sweetness to it that I learned was due to the sweet cream added to it.  It was an unusual addition, but one that lent itself to the sweetness of the carrots.  The half sandwich made it a perfect size for lunch or a light dinner.  The Asiago focaccia is delicious, aged and smoky in all the right places.

On any given day, Panera serves six different soups from the Sonoma Chicken Stew to French Onion to Vegetarian Creamy Tomato and more.  You can check out their website to see the daily options, download their menu, or check out the short videos they have on the soups.

[Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post that includes product and/or monetary compensation.   This is my first sponsored post and I chose to do it because, as I stated above, I have been eating at Panera Bakery Cafe for years and would not recommend the restaurant and/or their food if I didn't feel the product deserves recognition.]

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