Panera Bread

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Panera Bread - Bagels to Die For

May 1, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The Bagels are Outstanding

Cons:Some of the Cream Cheese Spreads

Panera Bread is a bakery-café with locations across the American Mid-west, South and East Coast. Many of the cafés had the original title of the Saint Louis Bread Co., and mainly in Missouri they still do. Regardless of their name, the few locations that I patronized served excellent food.

The Bagels are World Class
Let me pay tribute to the best bagels in the world. Bagels so soft, filling, and delightful that I ate two of them, three times a week, for an entire school semester. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I walked into my Business and Technical writing class with a brown paper bag filled with my college breakfast (lunch). I so diligently spread the cream cheese while my instructor taught—I don’t think he minded. And everyday, I attempted to answer questions with an empty mouth. It became such a ritual that one day I only bought on bagel and my classmates noticed.

In my opinion, the bagels of Panera are quite possibly the best bagels ever made. I have never eaten a bagel as soft and flavorful as Panera’s and have yet to eat one that even comes close. My favorite is the Cinnamon Crunch variety. To make this outstanding work-of-art, Panera covers this bagel with baked, brown sugar-clumps and lightly sweetens it on the inside with cinnamon sugar. The best description I can give is that the bagel is as soft as a freshly baked donut with the density of a Lender’s bagel.

How do they do this? I do not know. But it tastes great. The only problem with it is that if the bagel is not eaten within a few hours of purchase, it will tend to get quite hard.

Ultimate Diet Food
An excellent bagel combination is the plain bagel with the veggie-lite cream cheese. I am not the type of person who counts calories or even make a half-conscious effort to eat healthy. Because of this, when one of the employees recommended the plain bagel with a lite cream cheese I was a little skeptical. However, the employee assured me that it tasted good, so I decided to try it out. Wow, if all diet food tasted like this, everyone would be skinny.

Other Bagel and Cream Cheese Combination
I do not want to give a false impression that all the bagels taste good with all the cream cheese spreads. They do not. One of their recommended combinations is (as I recall) the Cinnamon Crunch with the Honey Walnut spread. Yuck. The Cinnamon Crunch is perfectly sweetened and the Honey Walnut adds the sweetness that breaks the camel’s back. Personally, I prefer the Cinnamon Crunch bagels plain.

In all, every cream cheese spread perfectly complements the plain bagel. (or is that the other way around) Unfortunately, the plain bagel is the only one that works with the various spreads. What usually happens with mixing the spreads and the bagels is that too many of the flavors conflict. For example, the Asiago Cheese bagel is quite cheesy, thus none of the spreads seem to work.

Overall
Despite the fact that all their spreads do not mix with all their bagels I still think that Panera is the best bagel bakery I have even been to. In the past few months, I have moved back to Hawaii (a state without a Panera café) and I have visited various other bakeries in the small hope that they can replicate a bagel like Panera’s. Unfortunately, none have come close.

So to all of you who live near a Panera, I ask that when you eat their, please eat a bagel for me because I sure miss them.

--SirMontego, look for me on battle.net


Recommend this product? Yes

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