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Panera Bread


Sunday morning I found myself out and about a little too early.  A couple of stores I thought had early openings didn’t.  So I had about 20 minutes to burn while waiting for the doors to open.  I decided to wander into the new Panera Bread at Northgate Mall.  Panera is a chain but this was my first encounter with the bakery. 
There was a pretty large array of breads and pastries.  Two things caught my eye – one for then and one for later.  The Pecan Rolls called my name – I love sticky buns and cinnamon rolls and this one was so nicely browned!  The other thing I noticed was a loaf of Asiago Bread and they had a demi size which was perfect for a trial run.  I also ordered a cup of tea to go with my Pecan roll. 
My Pecan Roll was disappointing – not bad just nothing to write home about.  The pecan topping was so crisp that it was hard to cut into bite-size pieces – or at least without sending part of it flying across the table.  The inside was nice and tender but strangely tasteless.  I only ate about half of it before deciding that it wasn’t worth wasting the calories on.  I did like that when I said that my order was "for here" that my tea was served in one of those great heavy old cafeteria style mugs – they stay hot and hold a lot!  
The Asiago bread meets my approval though!  Some cheese is mixed into the batter and then the top is sprinkled with more.  So the cheese flavor runs through the bread but is not overwhelming.  Good on it’s own, toasted with a little butter or accompanying your meal, it’s pretty versatile. 
It also turns out that they have free WiFi – that’s a nice benefit.  I may stop in again to give them another try although, so far, it’s not a place I’ll be telling anyone, "you just have to go to Panera!".  But it’s certainly worth another try. 
  1. Cindy permalink
    18-Dec-2007 5:44 am

    Try the rye bread!  Dense and full of wonderful flavor with caroway seeds on the top! 

  2. Culinary permalink
    19-Dec-2007 9:13 pm

    Hi Cindy!  I\’ll keep that rye bread in mind.  And I want to go in and order bagels just so I can see their nifty slicer working!  :-) 

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