Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You (tallguy) wrote,
Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You

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Panera - a love/hate relationship

Once again, I'm writing while sitting at a table in Panera (I dropped Kat's car off for some work, then walked over here and grabbed a table), trying to figure out why I come here.

Their "fresh brewed" coffee is usually either hours old (and is therefore far from fresh), or IS freshly brewed, but has coffee grounds floating in it (and for that, they don't see it as a problem). Their frou-frou coffee drinks are a little expensive, and frankly aren't as good as Planet Starbucks.

Their bagels aren't too bad, but their pastries are awful. Forgetting that, I just had an orange scone. It was dry and crumbly, with some plasticized orange glaze on it, and maybe two slivers of orange in it.

On the other hand, their soups are awesome. A bowl of soup, a small roll on the side, and that's a perfect lunch on a cold winter afternoon. Their salads and sandwiches are also pretty decent, if a bit pricey (then again, anything over $4.00 is an expensive lunch for me). Naturally, their bread is fantastic.

I think this particular location (Southport, just east of Emerson) is particularly bad. I've never had a really good breakfast here, and the staff seems more interested in talking amongst themselves than helping the customer.

The real reason I come here; the free Wi-Fi. The only other restaurant around here with free wireless is Chik-fil-a (not exactly a place to lounge over coffee). Some McDonalds have free wi-fi, but I can't stand their food. There's a Starbucks across the street (actually two, and a third just down the road, they're invading the area like cockroaches in aprons), and I prefer their coffee over Panera, but I don't think their wireless access is free.

The bottom line: as much as I don't particularly like Panera, I don't dislike it enough to outweigh the convenience factor.

Now if a Tim Horton's ever opened up, I'd sell my house and live there.
Tags: coffee, panera, wifi
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