Sunday, February 7, 2010

REVIEW: Panera Bread New Menu Items - Soooooooo Good!

Panera Bread likes to keep things fresh with their menu. So five times each year they introduce new food items and they just added the following seven items to their menu:

- Mediterranean Salmon Salad - $8.59
- Salmon Caesar Salad - $7.99
- Salmon Club Croissant - $8.59
- Low Fat Garden Vegetable Soup $4.49 (bowl) $3.69 (cup)
- Low Fat Black Cherry Smoothie - $3.99 (small) $4.49 (large)
- Asiago Bagel Breakfast Sandwich - $3.89
- Valentine's Day Cookie - $1.99/ea

FREEISMYLIFE was asked to review the new Panera Bread menu. Since I am already a Panera Bread fan, I knew that the $15 in gift cards that Panera Bread sent me would buy an awesome meal. The only problem was, since it all sounded so great, what would I choose to buy?

I decided to try the Salmon Caesar Salad, the Low-fat Black Cherry Smoothie, and to finish it off, a Valentine's Day Cookie.

The Salmon Caesar Salad is a chilled Atlantic salmon fillet served on a bed of romaine lettuce, with Asiago cheese, homemade Asiago cheese croutons and Panera’s signature Caesar dressing. The Salmon Caesar Salad was good. I am not a fan of chilled meat in a Caesar salad so I heated my salmon fillet. The salmon fillet was moist and flakey, just the way I like it. The cheese and croutons and dressing tasted great - so great in fact that I would have liked a little more of the great Caesar dressing and little less of the lettuce. So ask them to throw in a little more of that Caesar dressing if you get a take out order that I did.

The Black Cherry Smoothie was wonderful. It was smooth and thick and creamy. I started sipping on it in the restaurant, and I continued in the car, and finished it off with my food which I ate at my desk at work. I truly hated when it was gone. I would never have known from the taste that it was low fat.

By the time I finished my smoothie, I was almost full. So my plan was just to eat a bite of the Valentine's Day Cookie and save the rest for later. When I took the first bite of the cookie, I knew I was in trouble. It was wonderful. It was delicious. It was addictive. They must of put some magic in that cookie because my plan of being disciplined and saving the rest for later went out of the window. I ate the WHOLE cookie in three minutes - and it is a big cookie. I am glad I only got one because I don't think I would have been able to stop if I had bought more of them.

Panera Bread has some real winners in these new menu items. Since Valentine's Day is on Sunday, I highly suggest that you get some of those Valentine's Day cookies (available only until 2/20) for yourself and your sweetheart. But don't say I didn't warn you if you eat every crumb.


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