National chain gets its mostly right.
Panera Bread Bakery/Cafe
Meal: Various Breakfasts
The White Horse Road in Voorhees is an always busy thoroughfare lined with numerous banks, food, retail and residential developments. If you want a quick respite from the “hurly burly” stop in to the Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe. Plenty of free parking is available and in clement weather a few outdoor tables are there for the taking. Your reviewer and a companion have been there at least half a dozen times in as many months, normally for a mid-morning coffee and “nibble”. The most recent visit was fairly typical, and included a house regular as well as house decaf. The cranberry-orange muffin your reviewer enjoyed was neither too big nor too small. You certainly could see and taste the cranberries and the muffin itself was moist. My companion’s asiago bagel was “fresh” and veggie schmeer was tasty. A table for two by the ventless fireplace added to the appeal.
It would indeed be a “bored” individual who couldn’t find something enjoyable at Panera’s. A quick look at the menu reveals 10 types of bagels. Numerous spreads including plain and flavored come in reduced fat versions as well. The gamut of baked goods are likewise plentiful including artisinal pastries, scones, muffins, sweet rolls, brownies and cookies. If you come early enough , and are looking for something warm, you can also choose four selections of baked egg souffles. Lunch time brings difficult choices, whether to go with 4 types of cafe sandwiches such as Smoked Ham & Swiss or all white meat Chicken Salad. An additional 6 “signature sandwiches” vie for your attention such as a Mediterranean Veggie on tomato basil bread or an Italian “Combo” on Ciabatta. There are also four hot Panini perhaps paired with soup ( rotating schedule). Still undecided? Well there’s always a “You Pick Two” that allows for choice of two: any soup, any half sandwich or any half salad. But wait there’s more, i.e. “Crispani” hand crafted pizza in 7 styles. The small fry are sure to appreciate something from Panera “Kids” including the Peanut Butter & Jelly (all natural PB). Consistent and contemporary sum up the Panera experience. Enjoy!
Pop Pop’s Score: 3.0 Chews
Subjective Rating: Slightly better than average.
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