You all are well aware that I love to cook and eat great food. But you also know that I occasionally like to go out to eat as well. I am not averse to date night with my husband at a great restaurant or even taking my daughter out for lunch after swimming class. I mean, just because I like to cook doesn’t mean I cook every meal a day, seven days a week. However, when we do eat out we won’t eat out just anywhere. I like to patronize the restaurants I know serve good food and care about quality and customer service. There are certain, a-hem, drive-through style establishments that I wholeheartedly boycott. Someone even took my daughter to one recently and she refused to eat anything they offered her. Guess I taught her early!
One of the places we happily eat regularly is Panera Bread. It has a great selection of food and beverages, is clean, kid-friendly and is generally pretty efficient. Being a carb junky I usually order one of the paninis. When we went the other day it was the ideal lunch because it was so cold outside. I also got a lemonade for the kiddo and I to split, as well as a hot chai to go for me. My daughter got a grilled cheese – her favorite – and chips. Her to-go treat was a giant chocolate chip cookie the size of her head. As a mother I will take this moment to ask the Panera management to consider making smaller chocolate chip cookies for kids so we don’t have to spend and hour policing our child as they work their way through a mountain of sugar and get chocolate all over the car. But that’s another story.
When I was there on my most recent trip I did notice that there were some great new items on the menu I want to try when I go back soon. I think I might go for the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad or the Breakfast Power Sandwich. It will most likely be the former, it is rare that we are out early enough to pick up breakfast.
I am working with Panera on a project for the rest of this winter and into the spring. I look forward to sharing more of my Panera adventures with you. I also have to share some of the recipes I made with the bread I brought home, that’s a whole different post in itself!
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