Born out of the original parent of Au Bon Pain, a delightful sandwich chain in urban areas up and down the east coast, Panera bread has grown through acquisitions and opening new shops to become a major force in fast casual dining. The company current has over 1700 shops operating in 45 states under several different trade names.
The company features a varietyof fresh baked goods, breads, bagels, and pastries, which can be purchased to take away or as components of the in-house menu items like sandwiches, and breakfast bagels. In addition to the bread baked in-house, the chain endeavors to use the freshest quality ingredients available for their other menus, including salads, pasta dishes and a rotating list of soups.
In addition to tasty food, Panera donates all unsold baked goods at the end of each day to local food banks and organizations. That’s pretty cool.
There was a Panera store here in Portland that also tried to help the community by having a “pay what you can” policy.
Today I had the broccoli cheese soup, bits of broccoli and carrot, seasonings in a thick cheese soup, garnished with pieces of bacon. It’s good, but then, I am having a new love affair with soup in general, and specifically cheese soup.
Mrs. Burgerdogboy got me started on soup as a meal, and I’m thankful for that education. Having been raised in the Upper Midwest, however, beer cheese soup, which has been around since the days of Medieval Europe, was a frequent menu item while I was growing up.
My favorite as a young man was at the posh grocery chain Byerly’s, in Minneapolis. There was one within walking distance of my house, and I used to like tromping through the snow late at night to get a cup or two. Recently, I was quite taken by the recipe at at little place called Mocha Mouse, in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.
Should you hit Panera just for a cup of soup? Definitely!
Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Review