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“Panera wanna-be”
Review of Cafe Carolina & Bakery - CLOSED

Cafe Carolina & Bakery
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Reviewed April 23, 2012

I feel awful saying this, because I'm the first one to advocate and patronize local restaurants and merchants - I think it's incredibly important and just plain more fun to support local economy! However, my experience with Cafe Carolina was completely average.

It doesn't help that I love Panera Bread. I love basically their entire menu, all their baked goods are delicious and the atmosphere is casual and relaxing. I feel that Cafe Carolina is just trying to be Panera, and sadly fails. They have a similar menu, but not as extensive. The food and baked items just don't taste as good. The service is not as prompt (although very friendly). And the seating area looks like it's supposed to be quirky and cute, with grandma-looking pillows for back cushions in the booths, etc - but it just looks a little tired instead.

They do offer $1 off a pastry/baked item with a certain purchase, which I liked, and I've gotten one coupon via email when I signed up to be on their list before visiting.

Overall, I'm sad to say that if I want fast, delicious bakery items, salads or sandwiches, I will continue to choose Panera. I may pop back in to Cafe Carolina occasionally to see if anything's changed, because I would love to support them if I felt like I was getting a great product in a fun environment for a good price.

1  Thank princessbride029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (15)
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7 - 11 of 15 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2012

The french toast is absolutely delicious, and a great price! I recommend it.

Thank heavyheartedlove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2009

I've worked at CC&B, and have both high and low opinions of it. The prices=bad. One salad costs more than I made in an hour the entire time I worked there.
Service is okay, which I say as someone who worked there. We'd do our best to make sure everything's right for you, but as soon as you're rude to us for little to no reason, we stop caring. Still make everything right for you, but not try to play it up.

Now, personally, I always liked the food.
The cold sandwiches are mediocre, but the paninis were pretty good, especially the Spinach Chicken. On that note, I loooove the Spinach Artichoke flatbread, as well as the hawaiian bbq pork one (but i skip the pineapples , it's silly). Salads are good, but I always hated the Signature. Toooo sweet for a salad. Turkey Berry and the Chicken Fiesta, however, were always really good. Potato soup, also good, although I did once have a woman get mad at me for recommending it and saying it was the worst soup she'd ever had (only happened once though).

I'd skip the breakfast, not worth the price, but really I like the food in general, just refuse to pay the high prices for it (but don't worry, they send out coupons like candy!)

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Thank DreamCyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2009

If you savor overpriced sandwiches topped with mediocre luncheon meats then you've found your spot. Be sure to try their BLT with flaccid bacon or one of their pseudo- pizzas, they're sure to leave you second guessing yourself. The buffet at the nearby Harris Teeter blows this place out of the water. That pretty much says it all.

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1  Thank hemispheric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 8, 2008

Great for lunch or light dinner...and you must chase it with a blue topped cupcake.

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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