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Panera Bread – Gull Road

May 5, 2013

  • Panera Bread5627 Gull Road
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • (269) 345-8888
  • Website
  • Menu

Saturday is swimming lessons day.  L loves the water and we decided that we should get her used to the water as soon as we can.  We actually started swimming lessons at Borgess Health and Fitness last fall when she turned eight months old.  We skipped the next session but then decided to put her back in this spring.  J mentioned to a friend of hers that we were doing it so said friend signed up as well.  After the most recent session, friend asked if we would like to take the kids out to lunch.  Like I’ve said many times, I never turn down lunch.

The restaurant of choice today happened to be a chain J and I are familiar with.  It’s our go to when we don’t want a burger.

The Panera Bread on Gull Road is one of three locations in the Kalamazoo area.  There’s also one in Portage which is always packed and one on Main Street in Oshtemo.

The Comstock location is a little bit smaller than the other two.  The dining room is much smaller and the order area is a little more compact.  The thing I don’t really like about the Oshtemo location is that the drinks are on one side of the cash register and the food pick up is on the other.  At the Comstock location, everything is right there together so if you’re doing carry out, you don’t have to try and guess which is going to be done first.

J’s friend got a table and a couple of high chairs for the girls before we got there, so J got in line to order while I took L and put her in the chair.  Something new Panera is doing is kind of a table service when you dine in.  It used to be you picked up your own food from the kitchen counter, but now they give you a number and tell you to sit down.

I have one sandwich and pretty much only one sandwich I order when we go to Panera.  The Chipotle Chicken is by far the sandwich of choice.  The sandwich starts with French bread and is filled with anti-biotic free chicken, Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and a chipotle spread.  This sandwich is incredibly good.  Before I met J, I had never been to a Panera before.  In fact, like most things in our relationship, I can tell you with certainty, the first time I ate at Panera was in Decatur, IL .

For the side, I usually just go with the chips because that’s what they always assume I want with a sandwich, but I asked J to see if I could get the baguette instead.  I love the baguette’s from Panera and could eat a whole meal of just bread.  I usually end up taking J’s, so I had her ask if I could do that instead of the chips…which are good, but the bread is soooo much better.

J went for the half sandwich and soup.  She has a coupe different salads from Panera that she really loves, but I don’t think they one with strawberries is in season yet.  She instead got the Fuji Apple Chicken salad and the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich.

The salad is a combination of mixed greens and romaine with tomatoes, red onions, pecans, Gorgonzola, apple chips, and a white balsamic Fuji apple vinaigrette.  The salad is actually pretty large and almost a full meal by itself.  I know J likes the strawberry salad in the summer, but the rest of the year, this seems to be a pretty good option.

The sandwich she always goes with is a Tomato Basil bread with zesty sweet Peppadew peppers, feta, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro hummus.  Again, not my kind of sandwich, but this is always her go to when it comes to Panera and she always seems to enjoy it.

L always gets the Mac & Cheese which I am always totally jealous of.  The dish is large shell pasta covered in a cheese sauce that stars Vermont White Cheddar.  She almost always eats the entire bowl, but I do my best to grab a few shells as I’m feeding them to her.  It’s a very creamy, cheese Mac & Cheese with shells that are always perfectly al dente.  As a side, she gets a tube of squeezable organic yogurt (think GoGurt) and she almost always finishes that too.

After adding on a couple drinks, the bill usually comes pretty close to $30. so it’s not a cheap lunch, but we really like Panera as an alternative to fast food.  I know it’s not necessarily healthier, but it is very tasty and we always know we’re going to get a quality lunch.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

Panera Bread

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad and Half Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich and Baguette

Panera Bread

Kids Mac & Cheese

Panera Bread on Urbanspoon

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