For part three of the Panera project, I was given a gift card and asked to head back and appreciate the bakery and cafe in any way I desired. No constraints, no theme. Simply enjoy a meal and share a facet of the experience that I felt deserved recognition. I chewed on this idea for a bit in an attempt to figure out the best approach for highlighting Panera in a manner that I hadn’t already done.
My opportunity came this past Saturday. Scott took the older boys to the Pinewood derby to race Nick’s car and it was just Andrew and myself left back at the house. I determined that I needed to spend a little one-on-one time with my youngest and what better way to do that than over breakfast at Panera. Especially considering I had never even eaten breakfast there before. Heck, I didn’t even know they offered breakfast until recently. Yes I’m a bit blonde and a bit behind the times.
Drew is always in for any event that involves food (hmmm… wonder where he gets it from), so I packed him in the car and we headed off to share a meal. We found a nice table for two next to the window and then went up to order some chow. I selected a souffle for myself, the granola parfait for Drew and the black cherry smoothie for both of us to share. I loved the idea that the parfait was a menu item inspired by Olivia, the head chef’s five year old daughter.
Drew must have loved that idea too, because once we sat back down at our table, he was instantly drawn to it. I’m not sure which part he loved more, trying to get the sticker off the container…
….or finally enjoying the fruits of his labor.
For myself, I chose the bacon cheddar souffle and it most certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, I wish I had ordered two, because little hands kept swooping in to steal bites of my morning time treat!
When all the eating was done, Drew and I set our eyes on the black cherry smoothie. And what a smoothie it was. I quickly got in touch with my inner two year old and found myself not wanting to share. Of course, being the good mom that I am (most of the time), I managed to part with a few delicious sips.
When the parfait cup was scraped clean, the souffle crumbs inhaled, and the smoothie slurped down, what I discovered is that there is something inherently special about spending one-on-one time with your child. I also discovered that Panera makes a pretty darn good breakfast. I think Drew would wholeheartedly agree.
Note: I am currently working on an ongoing project with Panera Bread. As a result, I have been compensated for my time and expenses, however my thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Nuts about food says
Drew is adorable. I also rarely spend time alone with my youngest and when I do, I always remind myself I have to do so more often.
I so wish I had a Panera Bread within 150 miles of me! Love that place and your review, my mouth is watering!! anne
Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says
Your little one is adorable and how wonderful to spend one on one time with him.
Melissa R says
I love Panera!! He is such a cutie. Looks like y’all had some yummy fun!!
Sweet! I love Panera, and whenever me and my sisters are together we always go there to have our quiet times and then bond over coffee, bagels, and their shortbread cookies. =)
Laura in Cancun says
The souffle looks awesome! We don’t have Panera here, but I’ve been in the States a few times and loved it. My dad goes all the time.
Mari's Cakes says
He is adorable!! I would love a smoothie right this moment 🙂
Have a great afternoon.
Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says
What a great post Julie. Your boy is just so sweet & it looked like he loved his morning out with Mommy 🙂 I often get ideas from Panera Bread to make at home. They are a much better option than any fast food place.. it’s always worth the stop.
PS ~ I just stopped by Saveur to give you my nomination ;o) You rock!
I’ve never tried their souffles or smoothies but I can definitely attest to that parfait! Those are amazing! I also love the jalapeno and cheese bagel sandwich. A bit spicy, a bit meaty and a lot cheesy. So good! Thanks for sharing!! Drew is so freaking adorable!
I sooooo love Panera for three things and in this order could be my entire day’s eating!!!
1. Spinach-artichoke souffle
2. Greek salad (extra dressing)
3. Shortbread cookie
I envy your job!
5 Star Foodie says
Such a yummy breakfast, would love to try that bacon cheddar souffle. Drew is so adorable.
What a cutie batootie. Such a happy little chappy. 🙂
Love the souffle and can taste the yumminess of that smoothie. So good.
call me crazy, but that granola and yogurt parfait is one of my favorite things at panera. it’s breadless–what a travesty! 🙂
I love their souffles…they are one of my favorite breakfast items there besides the pastries and the bagels. Who am I kidding? I love everything Panera!
The food looks and sounds delicious, but the winner here … the shots of Drew. The smile shows how time with his mommie and some good food make him feel.
Your little one is too cute! I really do miss that messy eating stage…it was awesome for fabulous pictures.
okay, not fair, you have me craving a black cherry smoothie now! 😉