Wednesday, July 19, 2017

No Russian Hacker Needed -- This Blog Has Been Found!

Haven't we all heard the warning: Once you post something on the internet it will be there forever? 

For the last 4 years I have been searching for my long lost Panera Bread blog. Okay, I wasn't really searching for 4 years, but it was probably a good 3 or so months that I diligently tried to reunite with this blog. You see 4 years ago my domain expired. When I purchased the domain I purchased it through Blogger -- a platform that I was unfamiliar with. So when it came time to renew I couldn't figure it out -- so it expired. Once it expired I couldn't access the blog at all. Not even the Blogger platform. It was perplexing to say the very least. 

After my initial search and recovery mission to gain access to the blog failed, I would intermittently check back to find the blog. I literally could not find anything. Like not even a trace of this blog - which made me question the whole "once you post something on the internet it stays there forever" theory. It also made me wonder if maybe Panera was suppressing my blog -- did I need to find a skilled Russian hacker to let my voice be heard?

Turns out no hacker needed. It's a long random story, but the short story is that Google Adsense sent me a letter requesting me to verify information on this account. (I don't want to brag - but I have several Google accounts) Anyway, after a number of login attempts - I finally gained access to this blog!!

To say I was excited is a complete understatement. Have you ever found something you thought you had lost? It was emotional.

I am now reunited with this blog and I am pretty damn excited to provide all sorts of insights. There have been so many changes at Panera since I have last posted. So stay tuned for updates.

Random Notes:

  • Goals. I don't have a solid goal for my next few posts. When I first started the blog I was living in Columbus, OH and had a goal to visit all of the Central Ohio Panera Bread locations. Now that I live on the Panhandle of Florida, there aren't many locations to visit. I will still do it, obviously, but the challenge isn't that strong. I do know that I have some strong opinions on the salad situation at Panera.
  • Forced eating. The day after I found this blog again, I forced myself to eat lunch at a Panera. I feel like there will be a lot of forced eating at Panera in the future. I remember making special trips while on road trips last time around to eat at Panera. That's highly likely again. 
  • Twitter drama. My old handle was @paneraaddict. Lost those credentials too. Might need a hacker to find that info. For now I am locked out and have created a new handle @panera_addict. I actually like the underscore better. I hate when two vowels are together with out separation. It's confusing. 
  • Map. Here's a map and listing of my new Panera locations on the radar. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Let's talk chicken salad sandwiches.

Virtually every cafe/deli in America sells it, and Panera is no different. For the past year or so, I have been on mission to find the best chicken salad. It is more of a self-proclaimed mission, and I have been rather silent about the search...but it is time to unleash my findings.

Let's first discuss the Panera version, known on the menu as the Napa Almond Chicken Salad on sesame semolina sandwich. I like it. Is it my favorite? Absolutely not. Top 5? Maybe. But it is a reliably good chicken salad sandwich that appeals to the masses. There is no secret kick to this recipe. It's not showy. Reliable. That's the best description I can come up with. It's like a Toyota Camry. Reliable. Efficient. Gets the job done. But certainly not showy. If you are in search of a good sandwich and are overwhelmed with the Panera menu board, I suggest the chicken salad sandwich.

The ingredients are as follows:
All-natural, antibiotic-free chicken, diced celery, seedless grapes, almonds & their "special" dressing. Served with lettuce and tomato on sesame semolina bread. (I always opt for the whole grain)
Propaganda photo taken from Panera website.

Calorie wise, it's rather substantial at 700. But it does fill ya up. Which is key. 

Atlanta Bread Company

Moving along to Panera's rival...Atlanta Bread Co. I recently had the opportunity to try their version out. I got it at the Atlanta airport, so I am wondering if these ingredients are accurate...but this version had a dijon mustard taste to it. Odd? Yes. Good? I thought so.

If I had to compare between ABC or Panera, I think I would choose ABC. I like a little kick in my food, and the ABC version offered that kick. The sandwich also included lettuce, tomato, and onion. I think onion was the key factor for me. Since I soon boarded a flight post indulging in the sandwich laced with onions, I can imagine my fellow flight passengers wished I opted against the onions.

Here are ABC's ingredients:

Nutritionals: They claim it only has 440 calories. 

Random Note:
This post was sitting in my draft folder for 4 years! I re-read the post and still believe I am spot on.