Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Asian inspired broth bowls at Panera Bread

It made sense to sign up for a "My Panera" rewards account since I was already picking up bagel packs for the office. It was a win/win situation, the office picked up the tab and I got a free treat after 3-4 visits. Also, I LOVE their rapid pick up system where I can preorder the items the night before and grab it off the shelf without waiting in line to order or pay.

Being a rewards member means you have to give up your email address.  I get the usual "specials" and "new items" but one came across my email that caught my eye: "Kim, eat Adventurously. Get Rewarded"  I was taken by the bribe, watch a few videos for a $5.00 coupon.

To get the $5.00 coupon, I had to watch 3 short videos out of 6.  If I made a little more effort and watched more videos, they'd throw in a free soda/coffee/etc.  Needless to say, I watched all 6 to maximize my coupons.

My coupon was about to expire so my coworker and I went in for lunch at the Burlington location.  The choices for the broth bowls were: Soba Noodle Bowl with Chicken (390 calories), Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Cage Free Egg (380 calories), Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Chicken (410 calories) and Soba Noodle bowl with edamame (370 calories).  I ordered the Soba noodle with chicken and was sticker shocked at the price of $8.99, no wonder why the coupon was $5.00.

With my free drink coupon and the side of complimentary French baguette, my meal was $ 4 dollars and some change.  The buzzer buzzed and it was time to get my bowl.  I looked at the sad pathetic bowl that lacked broth.  I asked the worker to add more broth.  I mean it really was lacking broth until he added a couple more scoops/

Panera Soba Noodle Bowl with Chicken $8.99

I quickly dug in to disappointment.  The broth was too tangy for my liking.  I would have benefited from a soup spoon, not a regular spoon for the broth.  It was not good. I enjoyed the French baguette more than the soup and that set me back 180 calories.  For a dish that is $8.99, I expected more.  I probably won't ever get this again.

Anyhow Panera, I was adventurous... but I was not gastronomically rewarded but you guys do make awesome Asiago bagels.

 Until next time...