Panera for Breakfast

It is April and time for my next Panera post. If you’re not sure what I mean, get caught up here. At any rate, it is early in the morning, I have a huge exam in about 2 hours, and I wanted a fresh look at the material over a hearty breakfast before giving it a go. The plan was to head to Starbuck‘s, which I did, but once I looked over their food selection I realized it just wasn’t worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Starbuck’s coffee. I cheat on my Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards with Starbuck’s all the time. Their food selection, however, is lacking. The banana nut bread is delicious, but the calorie count for how filling it will make me feel isn’t worth it on a day like today. So, living in a college town, I conveniently walked across the street to Panera.

I don’t know about where you live, but in Delaware it isn’t a law (yet) to have the calories listed on the menu. Many national chains, though, are adopting the practice in all of their establishments, Panera being one of them. I looked up at the breakfast sandwich selection and wound up choosing the 360 calorie egg and cheese sandwich.

Most people I know aren’t fans of the idea of being conscious of the number of calories they’re consuming while dining out. I, however, am a huge fan. I don’t so much count my calories as I make sure my calories count. If I’m going to indulge, it needs to be in something that is going to satisfy me and make me feel full. Like this egg sandwich. I also am constantly surprised when I research menu items for nutritional facts when I find out which selections are lowest in fat and calories. One example being California Tortilla here on Main Street – the  lowest fat and lowest calorie menu item (entree, not counting a small sides) is their Havana Chicken Burrito Bowl. Their salads are the worst on the menu. Who would have thought.

Anywho – I chose the breakfast sandwich and asked for whole grain bread. There was an issue with the cashier’s computer, so I told him no to worry about it and just went with the ciabatta. I was skeptical since I know that what characterizes ciabatta bread is a crusty (and often oily) outside and soft, doughy inside. Although I know this is what defines ciabatta bread, I also know that most placed refrigerate and re-heat unused bread at the end of the day, making ciabatta bread rather unpleasant.

I am so so glad I was absolutely and completely worrying for nothing. This, quite honestly, may be one of the best egg sandwiches I have ever had. According to the Panera website, the eggs are all natural, cracked fresh every morning, and this sandwich is topped with Vermont white cheddar.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on the type of cheese – it tasted a litttttle like swiss, and somewhat like Mozzarella, but I wasn’t sure. Vermont white cheddar is my new favorite cheese for egg sandwiches. It doesn’t get lost in the other ingredients as cheese tends to do (especially on sandwiches) but it didn’t dominate either.

The bread was divine. And no, that is not too strong of a word. It was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside just like it should be. It was soft enough to bite through without any noticeable effort. The ratio of bread to egg and cheese was perfect – a common problem with bagel breakfast sandwiches and sometimes with ciabatta.

If you like egg sandwiches, I highly recommend the Panera Egg & Cheese on Ciabatta. It is one of the items with the lowest price, fewest calories, is completely satisfying and filled me up! GOOD morning! 🙂

Coming from me this is saying something – by the way – because I actually prefer local cafes, restaurants and the like over chains (despite the recent and upcoming posts about chains/franchises).


Have you tried Panera’s breakfast selections?

Which is your favorite? Any you’re dying to try?

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Scrubs fans – are you fans of brinner?


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