New Menu Items at Panera and a GIVEAWAY!

And the winner is….

Aubreylaine! Congratulations to Aubrey and thanks to all who entered!

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The Foodies have always enjoyed Panera.  It’s a substantial lunch spot when there’s no time to make your own salad or sandwich.  Miss Yunks has a Panera in her home town and when a location opened in Syracuse, NY, we were able to enjoy Panera together.  Panera recently had a customer appreciation event at the Newton Centre location.  They shared their new menu items and kids were able to decorate their new Easter Egg cookies.  The cookies are on sale for a limited time and a portion of proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital.

I was unable to attend this event, so instead Panera sent me $20 in Panera bucks to sample some of the new menu items on my own.  I invited my mom to join me for lunch on a break during work.  It’s always nice to see mom during the work day and I didn’t think I’d be able to spend $20 on my own.

Most of the new menu items revolve around steak.  The vegetarian, of course, wasn’t interested in these; I was excited to try the mango smoothie, the Easter Egg cookies, and the strawberry hot cross buns.

The mango smoothie was thick and creamy with a sufficient but not overpowering mango taste.  Mom, a mango enthusiast, didn’t think it had enough mango flavor.  She ordered the Wild Berry smoothie and it was perfectly full of berry taste.

I really wanted these chocolate brownies.  They looked so rich and fudgey, but they aren’t a new item (I’ve actually had them before and they are wonderful) so I stuck with the planned Easter Egg cookie.

The Easter Egg cookie was clearly well-decorated with lemon icing and a row of Easter colored M&Ms.  The cookie was shortbread and very crumbly.  I ended up missing the strawberry hot cross buns because they’re only served on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  For your pleasure, the Panera rep sent me photos of the buns and of some steak items.


They look good to me!

For lunch this day, I ordered the tomato and mozzarella panini.

I love this sandwich, although I do wish there was more of the middle than the bread.  The bread overpowers this panini, but it is delicious bread.

Mom had the Mediterranean veggie sandwich, another of my favorites.

Our lunch actually went $5 over the $20 from Panera. I guess it’s not as inexpensive as I thought!

Well, are you hungry yet?  Panera has a gift for you too.  One of you will win a $15 gift card to use at Panera.  $20 may not be enough for a big lunch for two, but $15 is definitely enough to cover lunch for one.

To enter this giveaway, tell us us which menu item you’d most like to try. Then, follow Panera on Twitter, follow us on Twitter, and leave a comment saying you did all three things.

A winner will be randomly chosen Wednesday, April 13 at 10 AM and announced shortly after.  Good luck!

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13 Comments

  1. MelissaNibbles
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I already follow both you and Panera on Twitter.

    I’d love to try the steak and blue cheese salad. I love blue cheese!!!

  2. A Cambridge Story
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Those strawberry hot cross buns look great. Dangerous, but great! I follow you and Panera on twitter!

  3. Aimee
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    I follow you both! My go-to at Panera is the you pick 2 soup and sandwich, so if I were to try something new it would be a breakfast item. The spinach and artichoke baked egg souffle sounds yummy if I want to eat in – or one of the ciabatta egg and vermont cheddar sandwiches if I am on the go!

  4. Molly
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    I want that chocolate brownie!:)

  5. aubreylaine
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    I’d love to try the Tomato & Mozz Panini! I liked Panera & you on twitter.

  6. Colleen
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    I think I’d have to try the Steak and Blue Cheese Salad — it sounds absolutely amazing! Also, I follow you lovely ladies on Twitter and now follow Panera as well. Great giveaway!

  7. Jennifer Dugan
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    I would love to try the Steak and White Cheddar Panini.

  8. Megan
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    I want to try that tomato & mozz panini. I don’t know how I’ve never noticed it on the menu… maybe because I tend to get soup and bread boules there!

  9. Renee {Eat.Live.Blog
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    I am not sure anything could take my heart away from the black bean soup and greek salad! I follow you both :)

  10. Yuka
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    I love the Mediterranean veggie sandwich. I’ve gotten it before, and it’s the freshest thing.

    New follower on Twitter!

  11. Claire
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    I love paninis, so I’ll go with the Tomato & Mozzarella panini. YUM

  12. Raquelle
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Wow! Thanks for this opportunity.

    1) I’ve tried so much from the Panera menu already but I’d really like to try that new Steak & Blue Cheese salad!

    2) I follow you on Twitter!

    3) I just followed Panera on Twitter

  13. aubreylaine
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    YAY!! I’m so excited I won!!! Do you want me to email you my address!
    Thanks!!!!

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