May 25, 2011

Review: Panera Bread - Steak & White Cheddar Panini

Panera Bread's new Steak & White Cheddar Panini features seared top sirloin, caramelized onions, Vermont white Cheddar and horseradish spread served on French baguette.

It's one of the priciest items on the menu at $8.99 with your choice of a side.

I'd never been to a Panera before and was surprised to find that a chunk of baguette is one of the side options with your sandwich. In fact, when the cashier listed the various sides to choose (chips, apple or baguette), I had her repeat herself to make sure I was hearing correctly. A neighboring customer assured me that the cashier was, in fact, offering me a baguette with my baguette sandwich. I opted to the chips.
Unwrapping my sandwich, I noted that the ingredients were of pretty good quality especially the steak which is thinly sliced into sizeable pieces rather than the chopped little bits you might get elsewhere. The white Cheddar had a good amount of flavor and balanced well with the steak.

The steak could have stood a bit more seasoning; just a bit more pepper or what not. I would have liked a little more steak; I think they could have gotten away with a London broil in a larger quantity.
I think my particular panini was missing the horseradish spread but it was still good and for a light eater as myself, each half was good for a meal. I did wish the baguette was crustier though; there was the requisite texture and chew but I wanted a crisper crust.

Interestingly, it's Panera's French baguette which contains most of the salt in this sandwich at 1200mg.

Overall, a pretty good but also pretty pricey steak sandwich. One that I'm not sure is worth the cost.

Panera Bread Cafe Locator

Nutritional Info - Panera Bread - Steak & White Cheddar Panini - 13oz (367g)
Calories - 950 (from Fat - 320)
Fat - 35g (Saturated Fat - 15g)
Sodium - 1790mg
Carbs - 112g (Sugar - 3g)
Protein - 43g


  1. Yes, I heard they were testing the concept. Panera thrives off preppy high school kids and white collar people on their lunch breaks. Considering I used to be the former and some day hope to be the latter, I can't fault them too much, although my foodie sense tells me they're no good for sandwiches/soups/salads. I stick to the backed good. Horrible for you, but whatever.

  2. Panera is the kind of place where you pay for the ambiance. The food is always lackluster and overpriced. That's why I just like getting a coffee and bagel and sitting there with the WiFi! As a side note - they are becoming the new subway. Ever noticed how their "vermont white cheddar" makes it into EVERY new sandwich?

  3. I haven't. Mostly because this was the first time I'd ever been to a Panera... Haha! It is pretty nice inside though, pretty happening as far as the lunch crowd went as well.

    Have you heard about Subway Cafe? It's like a more upscale Subway for certain locations. Like a more Starbucks Subway.

  4. From the look of your pictures, it looks like you could get a much tastier cheese+steak sandwich (and at a much better value) at Quiznos or Penn Station.I don't care to get anything from Panera other than bagels ($1.25...very good value for how fresh and tasty they are).

  5. Do NOT get the new Steak Panini at Panera.  No Taste-Very little meat-not worth the $$

  6. I had the Steak Panini about 2 months ago and it was a total shock, there was nothing to it. Two pieces of bread and sauce, I had to look hard to even find any meat.


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