Hounds, when I was in Pittsburgh this summer, I walked into a Panera store. No, I did not try anything because I had just had breakfast. But I looked at everything very closely and was not impressed.
I also could not understand how this company could attract legitimate bakers - a group of food artists that are hard to find. Witness the fact that many "bakeries" are actually using frozen doughs for many of their so called homemade items. I thought that was what Panera was doing.
Well, a Panera opened here in Ormond Beach and my wife brought home several of their breads. I thought they were terrific. The dessert items were ok, nothing great, but the breads were very crusty and tasty. try their Asiago Bread and rolls- terrific.