I used to go to Panera pretty frequently in high school and college. For awhile, it seems like their menu stayed the same and I got a bit bored of my normal Frontega Chicken Panini.
We wanted something quick and inexpensive for dinner tonight, and we had recently seen an ad for Panera’s Autumn Squash Soup. So we headed there to give it a try. We both got the “You-Pick-Two” and paired the soups with flatbreads. Lance had the Mediterranean Chicken (with hummus, feta, cucumber, napa cabbage, and tzatziki sauce). I went with the fall theme and tried the Turkey Cranberry (with garlic herb cheese spread, cranberry mostarda, and spinach).
The flatbreads weren’t anything too special. I was actually surprised that for a restaurant that prides themselves on their freshly baked bread, the flatbread tasted store-bought a bit soggy. But it’s nice to see that they’ve changed up the menu and added some variety.
We were pleasantly surprised by the soup – it is a vegetarian blend of butternut squash and pumpkin with vegetable broth, honey, apple juice, cinnamon, curry, and sweet cream topped with roasted salted pumpkin seeds. We topped ours with a bit of pepper. While it wasn’t on the same level as my favorite fall soup (Grillsmith’s Caribbean Pumpkin Crab Bisque), I would order it again.
Panera Bread has 1800+ locations. The one we visited is located at 112 West Shore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33609 and is open 6am – 9:30pm Monday – Saturday and 7am – 9:30pm Sunday.