Panera’s Pesto Sacche-what?! Sacchettini!

How many of you actually know what sacchettini is?  Be honest now.

Well, I have to admit… until today, I didn’t.

Panera was the pick for lunch, and in the mood for something new — surprised? — I decided to try one of their pastas.  Since I had no idea what the Pesto Sacchettini was, I posed my question to the cashier, who responded by holding her right hand up and forming a small circle with her forefinger and thumb.  In other words, she didn’t really know either.  After watching her struggle to explain, I went ahead and ordered it anyway — with chips on the side, of course.

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In case you’re curious, Panera’s website describes the Pesto Sacchettini as “purse-shaped pasta stuffed with a blend of ricotta, parmesan, romano, Monterey Jack, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses then tossed in a nut-free basil pesto and topped with a sprinkle of asiago and parmesan.”

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Sounds delicious, right?  Well, the first few bites were, but honestly, I got kind of bored and had to empty an entire bag of chips on the side to break the cheese/pasta monotony.  I alternated between bites of pasta and bites of fried-potato-goodness, which resulted in a temporary crescendo.

The tenderness of the pasta contrasted with the crispiness of the chips was interesting.  I’m still trying to decide if I like that particular combination.  I’m leaning towards yes, but would want to give it another try…

Overall, the Pesto Sacchettini gets an “okay” from me.

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New Flatbread Sandwiches at Panera Bread

Back again at Panera today.  Since I’d never had their flatbreads before, I decided to try a couple.  The menu listed four options:

  • Mediterranean Chicken (chicken, curried lentil hummus, feta, cucumber, napa cabbage blend, tzatziki sauce)
  • Thai Chicken (chicken, cilantro jalapeno hummus, napa cabbage blend, cilantro, peanut sauce, Thai vinaigrette)
  • Southwestern Chicken (chicken, black bean hummus, feta, southwest corn blend, napa cabbage blend, cilantro, BBQ ranch)
  • BBQ Chicken (chicken, frizzled onions, mozzarella, smoked gouda, fresh baby spinach, cilantro, BBQ sauce)

I went for Thai Chicken and Southwestern Chicken.  Survey says… just okay.  The sauces in both sandwiches didn’t really taste distinctively Thai or Southwestern, which left me bummed and confused, and the flatbread itself was less chewy than I was expecting.  I guess the overall meal was okay from a taste standpoint though.  Likely won’t order it again, but may consider the BBQ chicken flatbread since I do like BBQ-chicken-you-name-it.

Front: Southwestern Chicken Back: Thai Chicken

Front: Southwestern Chicken
Back: Thai Chicken

I did have a coupon for $1 off a pastry, so there was that… strawberry rhubarb mini-cake here I come!

Do you eat at Panera?  What do you order there?

Quick Fix Comfort Food… Broccoli Cheddar Bread Bowl

070114_panera_bread_bowl_2I was in the mood for some “comfort food” this afternoon, and so stopped by a nearby Panera for a good ole… Broccoli Cheddar Bread Bowl!  Haven’t had one in a while and felt like stepping out of the office for a quick lunch, so there we have it.  It definitely hit the spot and filled me up!  I always enjoy munching on the crumb — that is, the soft, inner part — of the bread.  Mmm… carbs.

Is it just me or was was my soup-to-bread ratio actually greater than the norm today?!  Might there also have been a higher concentration of cheese too ?!  Mmm… #win  I mean, look at all that soupy cheesy goodness!  I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it.

What’s your favorite comfort food — or “comfort food”?