Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Chicken Caesar Review: Panera

Panera is a bakery/cafe/restaurant that started popping up in Jacksonville several years ago. Despite the whole Atkins craze, they have become very popular. Their Grilled Chicken Caesar, which goes for $5.99, includes Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, Asiago-Parmesan cheese, homemade Asiago cheese croutons and their special Caesar dressing.

The lettuce is green, fresh and chopped into nice, bite-size pieces. The chicken is very tender and actually tastes like chicken. Both lettuce and chicken are evenly coated with a mild Caesar dressing that doesn't overwhelm it. Mixed with the dressing are slivers and chunks of Asagio-Parmesan cheese, which really give it a kick. The croutons are very chewy but go well with the salad. Finally, the salad is accompanied by a nice hunk of fresh bread (well, bread made that day, anyway). It's very good bread, but it can be very tough to rip apart by hand and certainly by teeth. It is crust and chewy and should not be attempted by those who no longer have their own teeth.

Overall, an excellent Chicken Caesar for the price and a filling meal.

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