Oct 9, 2012

Review: Panera Bread - Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Panini

Panera Bread's Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Panini sandwich is new this fall and features all-natural, roasted turkey slices layered in a fresh-baked ciabatta bread with a garlic and herb cheese spread, cranberry chutney, and fresh spinach.

It's fairly pricey at $8.79 a sandwich, though it does come with a choice of chips, apple, or baguette on the side.

The Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Panini was about 7 or 8 inches long and was cut in half. Mine came in a rather large box for the size of the panini. It seemed like a waste of packaging.

The turkey was moist, slightly seasoned, and quite flavorful. A single layer of slightly overlapping slices ensured that every bite contained turkey. It was just enough turkey, but a little bit more would have been nice.

The spinach played the part of greens in the sandwich and was mostly seen and just barely tasted.

The cranberry chutney was sweet and tangy, but didn't really exhibit the telltale bitterness of the fruit.

The garlic and herb cheese spread was really nice and pulled everything together. It had a creamy, herby, and just slightly garlicky flavor that worked wonderfully with the turkey and cranberries.

It's a bit ironic that Panera's bread was the weakest link of the sandwich. While the ciabatta sported some nice panini grill marks, the bread lacked any sort of crispness and was soft and overly-chewy throughout. I was expecting more texture from the bread and it mostly disappointed.

Bottomline: Panera's Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Panini was mostly good with a great combination of ingredients, but was weighed down by unremarkable bread. That and the just adequate amount of turkey makes the price hard to justify. It feels more like a $7 sandwich.

Nutritional Info - Panera Bread Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Panini (340g)
Calories - 770 (from Fat - 200)
Fat - 23g (Saturated Fat - 8g)
Sodium - 1170mg
Carbs - 101g (Sugar - 17g)
Protein - 37g