The first time I went to Panera Bread it was to meet my wedding invitation maker. She had suggested the place as a neutral place (location wise) to meet. I had just planned on getting an iced tea, as I had already eaten lunch. But when I got there the smell of bread (and the free samples) told me different. Over in the case sat this lumpy, raisin studded, glazed covered muffin like creation that they were calling a Cobblestone (see above). I asked what it was and they told me it was basically like a cinnamon roll, but with some apples chopped up in it, and of course, not in roll shape. Oh my, had to try that. Big, big mistake. As to this day, I cannot go to Panera without getting one. Usually to go, but there is one in a bag going home. Though I won’t lie, I usually break into it before I make it home.
When I mentioned to my invitation designer how good the Cobblestone was, she replied, “oh yes, everything is good here, if you love soup, you will love their French Onion in a bread bowl.” You know what. She’s right. That is pretty much my go to item when I go there. I get the chips as the side and take those home. The bread bowl is the perfect bowl for French Onion as when you get to the bottom the bread is all gooey and soaked with the French onion soup. It’s fantastic.
I have never had a bad thing at Panera. So when they contacted me and asked me if I had any interest in working with them in a blogger program, I of course yes. I mean, I already tell people I love it for free, why not for free Panera food and some compensation (in case you haven’t guessed, I received a gift card to cover the cost of my meal as well as compensation for the post…but my love of Panera is all mine!). It’s my favorite place to suggest going to people when we can’t decide where to go as they have a range of menu items. Even back when I was lifestyle changing (cough, cough…dieting) I could easily eat there. My go to staple with that was their Low Fat Chicken Noodle Soup, which hardly taste low fat and an apple for a side. Throw in a diet soda or water and you are good to go.
They have yummy salads and sandwiches as well. I love me the BBQ chicken salad. They have a strawberry one that I believe is only out in the summer that was super yummy as well. Right now they are featuring a Thai Chopped Chicken Salad. If I am having a sandwich, you will find me eating the Turkey Artichoke Panini (no tomato). They take spinach artichoke dip and make that into a spread. Oh my. To see the menu and more info about Panera Bread, visit Panera Bread.com.
Since moving I now live considerable closer to Panera. Which is a good thing. What about you? Do you have a Panera near you? Is there something you that you love that you think I should trying?
I go to Panera several times a week: wifi, free refills on unsweet tea, and cheap food. The first time I had a cobblestone was this past week. So delicious. I love the photo of it. Good job.
Jennifer @ Jennifer's Treasured Recipes says
I absolutely LOVE Panera’s chicken ceaser sandwich. The chicken is really juicy and the bread is so soft and cheesy… Yum.
They also have a Pan au Chocolate-like item which they call a “chocolate pastry”. I really like them. There buttery and soft and have just the right amount of deeply dark chocolate… Great. Now I’ve made myself hungry!
Maxine R. says
I’ve been going to Panera since it was called St. Louis Bread Co. in St. Louis. When they started expanding their stores, they changed the name to Panera. I was so glad when they started expanding because I no longer live in St. Louis, but now I get to go to the stores in the Chicago area. I love the Fuji Apple salad, their tuna salad, broccoli cheese soup as well as the onion soup. Haven’t tried the new Thai salad yet, but I will. My husband loves all their pananis. It’s just a great place to eat. Congrats on being chosen to work in their blogger program!
That cobblestone looks wicked! A place I’d love to visit.
Huh. The nearest one to me is in COLORADO! That’s quite the drive from Utah! 😉 Looks divine, though; I would love to visit sometime!
The only time I’ve been to Panera, I had to fly all the way to Detroit (from Oregon). I LOVED it. I’m glad to know that there are some just up the coast, I’ll have to head up there for a fix.
It’s physically impossible for me to walk into a Panera and NOT buy a Cobblestone.
There’s a Panera right across the street from us, and there are several in the city in which we live.
I almost always get the You Pick 2 when I go, and I get the Asiago Roast Beef sandwich (no onions!) and either the broccoli cheese soup or the Caesar salad. I LOVE their Caesar salad.
There really aren’t Paneras in NYC but I used to tutor in one when I lived in Boston. That cinnamon crunch bagel of theirs? Pure love.
I love their creamy tomato soup. The black bean soup is good when you are trying to diet. The bearclaws, warmed up just a little, are perfect when you aren’t! 🙂
Ok, I am going to start emailing Panera every hour of every day until they open here. Just kidding, but I do really, really want want to open here, preferably not too far from my house. I don’t think that I have ever heard one person say a bad thing about this place. Obviously I am going to have to fly over to the mainland to visit one. I need to know just how good that Cobblestone is.
I love, love, love the strawberry scones and the turkey artichoke Panini. You can never go wrong with the cinnamon crunch bagel or asiago cheese. YUM!!! The cookies are awesome and the green tea is absolutely fabulous. My best friend turned me on to the tea and it is so good. It isn’t anything like the green tea your use to it is so fruity and refreshing. I think I could drink it all day long. Well, I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE Panera. There are 3 in Fort Collins, CO where I live and I have been to all of them. The soups are very good too. Just like you, I have never had anything I didn’t like. Good place to hang out & cozy up to a warm fireplace & hang out with your girlfriends. I would love any copy cat recipes that anyone might have. Especially for the strawberry scones, I can’t walk out of that place with out taking one home. Well at least I try to take it home.
The creamy tomato soup and the new strawberry scone! Actually, I love everything there!
Cobblestones are my FAVORITE! I get one every time I am even remotely near a Panera.
Drool. *sniff* There’s not a Panera where I live!
Guess I’ll have to make my own French Onion soup and put it in a bread bowl ~
Green Iced Tea! The best I have ever tasted. Also the cinnamon crunch bagel is pure joy.
Will you take me there if I ever come to visit you and Lynn in Seattle? Sounds like I would love it.
Of course, I have not heard of Panera here in England, but we have a wonderful small chain of French bakeries in London called Paul. I love all their bakery things. If you ever come over to London, I will take you there and later we will go have afternoon tea some where real swanky, so you can point your pinkie finger out like a real lady! (lots of good beer to try here, too!)
Love love love Panera. It is my neutral spot too. Try the Mediterranean veggie sandwich and black bean soup. You’ll never know you’re dieting.
You tease!! I started drooling while looking at the picture, and thought you would give us the recipe for cobblestones.
I love Panera too….but would love to be able to make something similar at home.
I totally thought you were going to have a recipe for the Cobblestone! My husband would be so excited if I could make them at home.
Sara Tea says
I’m from Saint Louis, and it’s actually called Saint Louis Bread Co… I now attend college two hours from home, and you can tell the people from Saint Louis that call it “bread co” versus the ones that call it “Panera”. So random!
I love Panera but try not to go too often. We went tonight and had their amazing mac n cheese and broccoli cheese soup. The mac n cheese there is a good comfort food for me. Mmmm. And their breads are amazing. I love the salads too. Aw hell, they just make wonderful stuff. I haven’t had anything I didn’t like so far.
I too, LOVE Panera! I really liked their Turkey Artichoke Panini, until they changed it to make it healthier 🙁 Just one look at the Cobblestone picture had me reading, great promo for Panera, now how about a recipe for the Cobblestone 🙂
The Turkey Artichoke panini is an EXCELLENT choice! They used to let me get two sandwich halves on the You Pick Two, and I’d get that and Bacon Turkey Bravo. Now, since I can only choose one (which, let me tell you, is STRESSFUL) I stick with the Bacon Turkey Bravo. But you HAVE to try the Four Cheese Souffle for breakfast. It is to DIE for. Absolutely sinful, in the best way possible.
Kudos on a Panera gig!!! What great compensation for something you already do well! (Meaning blogging, of course, haha)
Please tell Panera they need to open a store in Hawaii!
I have a Panera Bread within 5 minutes driving time which is dangerously close! I love their Cinnamon bagels, I love how it’s kinda crackled on top and kinda ooey in the middle…yum! (those are techincal terms by the way = )
thanks a lot for this. Now I am badgering my BF to go to panera right now! I am craving it like MAD now!!
I love Panera! My favorite thing there is their Asiago cheese bagel. I also love their chocolate filled pastries, and everything else I’ve had there! I’ve never had the Cobblestone, but I know I’ll be trying that soon!
OH! I love panera but we do not have ANY (HINT HINT to any panera folk reading hits!) in MS. The closest is in Memphis. My parents just got one where they live. I love their bagels and the sundried tomato bread…use that to make hummus and veggie sandwiches. YES!!!
LOVE Panera! Favorites are the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, Tomato Soup and anything from the bakery! Iced green tea is great! Kids like it too which helps! Wish so much they had a drive thru, if you can pass that on to them!
Curses! Now you’re making me drool and reach for my car keys to go to Panera. But I’m still in my pajamas!
Panera has a cookbook that divulges many of its alluring recipes. You should check it out and see if you can recreate the magic at home. Unfortunately the Cobblestone recipe is not in the book, from what I remember, though the cinnamon raisin white bread recipe is. (Title: “The Panera Bread Cookbook: Breadmaking Essentials and Recipes from America’s Favorite Bakery-Cafe”).
Panera…it’s what’s for lunch…YUM!
it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but i have recently become addicted to their mac n’ cheese. i split it with my 3 year old…but i don’t know how much longer that will last, she loves it too.
Somehow I missed this post before. And I so don’t remember talking about French Onion Soup. Was this really me??? Yum on the Cobblestones though!!!
I love Panera! They have the best Cinnamon Crunch bagels, and their cinnamon rolls are delish! I would love to be devouring a Cobblestone right about now too.
Natasha P. says
Panera is also my favorite, and like your weddinging invitation person said – everything is good! I have never had anything bad there – love it all!
I love Panera, but our local one doesn’t smell like bread. I think they make the dough at the Redmond one and then just bake it, so it doesn’t have that great smell.
I’ve not tried their French Onion, but I might just try that next time!
I adore Panera Bread too! I agree that everything is always delicious. I just tried one of their salads (the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad) for the first time last week and have been raving about it to everyone. Yum!
2 things: warm cinnamon chip scones, and toasted sesame seed bagels with plain (low-fat) cream cheese. And don’t forget the coffee. Heaven.
LOVE Panera. Have 3 in my town, all about the same distance from home. The Creamy Tomato Soup is my favorite! Always get that along with one of the seasonal salads or the ham & swiss on rye. The Orange Scones are amazing! Always get bagels for the office from Panera, too! Travel alot to SC and wish they would expand there, too!
Nancy L says
That apple thingy looks AMAZING! I’ve got to go to Panera!
Late to the post, but still here! I actually used to WORK at Panera. And I can honestly say I still love the food. I would go through withdrawals on my days off. Now that I moved, I miss it even more since the closest one is an hour away. But my all time favorite thing is the Holiday Bread that comes out in November and December. MMMMM heaven in a loaf.
I was positively gutted when they stopped carrying the Cobblestone. Then they dropped the whole wheat bagel.
I was bummed as well.