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“used to be delicious, but has gone downhill”
Review of Panera Bread

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Panera Bread
Ranked #33 of 132 Restaurants in Burnsville
Restaurant details
Reviewed December 17, 2011

I have loved Panera since I had my first you pick two combo many years ago, but I'm sad the say I've noticed quite a difference in flavor and quality lately. I used to LOVE the turkey artichoke panini, but I just had one (looks like a new recipe) and it was disappointing. The old turkey artichoke panini was super yummy and the one I had today left much to be desired. The bread isn't as tasty as it used to be...much more bland now. I can't even taste the artichoke spread that used to be the signature delicious ingredient in the sandwich (even though it is still listed as a sandwich ingredient). It just doesn't have that mouthwatering comfort food flavor and texture anymore.

I also tried their sonoma chicken stew which was decent, but not the delicious kind of soup I had grown to love and expect at Panera. This soup tasted much more like the flavor/texture of something you'd find at a cheaper fast food place like McDonald's. The carrots were also in perfectly shaped balls...taking away from any illusion of being anything more than mass-produced, mediocre-at-best, fast food soup. I don't think Panera is awful, sadly, it's just not nearly as good as it used to be. I hope they go back to their higher quality ingredients and preparation :(

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    • Food
Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 18, 2010

Panera at it's earliest seemed to be a restaurant striving for quality (staff, food preparedness, etc) but as of late when I (who usually dine at Panera a minimum of three times per month) have ordered food (basics, like a Greek salad) something has usually been wrong with it. Twice I have had the wrong dressing put on the salad and when alerting the person who made the salad (you can see over the counter who is making it) one time the man stated, "No, you are wrong, I made the salad myself" and I had to assert how often I eat a Greek salad and further explain how a sweet dressing is not the correct dressing for the salad. A second time this occurred at a different Panera location. In between those two instances at the same location as the final issue, a hair was in my salad. I brought it to their attention (nicely) of course, as always (probably too nicely, because nothing ever changes) they offered to give me a free drink.

The staff preparing the sandwiches and salads seem mediocre at best, the staff taking orders are hit or miss, and usually the person taking orders on a slow day is also the one making the drinks and retrieving the baked goods which results in a line forming of people who need their orders taken. Honestly if the food turns out the way it is supposed to, it tastes good, yet when one never knows what they're going to get as far as quality it can quickly go to the end of a list when one is considering a place to eat.

Staff do not seem to follow as rigid of guidelines as other restaurants while food prep. staff may be told to follow the health code rules, whether they do is up to the person in charge who is seeming to not be evaluating too carefully when the person making the sandwiches and salads has a beard, long hair pouring outside the cap he is wearing. It is likely they are not reprimanded for not doing so and only in the case of a complaint is the health code of hair being below a certain length and tied back asserted.

Additonally, there have been numerous times when I have gone to carry my dishes back (that is what you do, you carry your plate, fork, bowls, etc on a serving plate to a garbage receptacle and you physcially separate the forks, knives, spoons, into the silverware portion of a provided bucket, and you also dispose of an excess food into the waste basket. One would think this system would make the job easier for the busboys/person taking the stack of dishes to the room, however, lately dishes have been piled up (easily more than twenty) and nearly tipping over) leaving one to accidentally knock the stack over if one doesn't rearrange the stack prior to putting their dishes on top.

Honestly, Panera needs some work and until this happens and I hear of staff improvements and food prep quality improving I won't be going back for food (the drinks seem fine though, I haven't had a problem with the coffees or teas (though those are difficult to mess up).

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6  Thank lr1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed August 17, 2008

A little overpriced, but the quality of the sandwiches cannot be matched.

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2017 via mobile
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Thank w9jupiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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