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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Panera Member Appreciation Event

Earlier this week I had the chance to try some of the new menu items at Panera.  This was not any kind of blogger event, and I’m not being compensated for this or anything,  but I thought I’d share it with you anyways since I know some of you love Panera as much as I do!  The event was actually pretty large but surprisingly well organized.  I’m not sure how many people were there but I would guess the RSVP list had 100 or so of varying demographics.  If you are not familiar with the MyPanera Card, then you might be confused about the whole “member appreciation” idea.  Let me explain. Panera has a rewards card that is a little different from other frequent buyer type cards out there.  You present your card whenever you buy anything, and you are randomly rewarded.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of this random rewards system since I like I knowing what exactly I am earning by using my card, but it is also kind of fun to randomly have a free bagel or beverage or pastry or something on the card as well.  The program is free, and they can look you up in their computer if you don’t want to have to carry around another rewards card.  Really there is no harm in joining, and if you are really lucky (or eat a Panera a lot like I do, as you may be able to tell since I’ve already told you about my love for Panera in another post) you might even get invited to one of these events!

paneraevent

At the event I got to sample six different items from varying genres.  Each item was set up on a table with someone there to tell you more about it and give you a sample.  Once you gathered your samples, you sat down and ate them.  That was it, no surveys or people staring you down, just a really causal chance for you to try their newest menu items.

The first item that I tried was the Superfruit Smoothie.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of creamier smoothies but I actually really liked this one!  Maybe it is because it is blended with Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt so it doesn’t have as sweet and creamy of a flavor? Or maybe it was because it was in an adorably tiny cup, and just a small amount of that texture doesn’t bother me as much.

panerasmoothie

Next I tried the Spinach Power Salad.  (If this salad sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you listen to Pandora Radio like I do and hear the commercial for it all. the. time.) The spinach and dressing was alright, most of the rest of the things on the salad are not things that I really like – cooked mushrooms, onions, bacon, etc.

After that I tried the Bistro French Onion Soup.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never had French Onion Soup before, so this was a first.  Well, if you count trying the broth/cheesy parts and not the actual onions.  That part of it was good, it was actually kind of sweet but also savory, I’m not at all excited about eating a whole chunk of onion though, cooked or not.

panerafoods

The next thing that I tried – and probably my favorite thing of the night – was the Mediterranean Egg White Sandwich.  Egg whites, Vermont cheddar, spinach, roasted tomato, and basil pesto on freshly baked ciabatta bread.  It is not too far off from my normal egg sandwich but something about the pesto, or the fresh bread, or the surprisingly fresh tasting and perfectly cooked egg, it was delicious.  I went back up to tell them how delicious it was – and confirm what was actually on the sandwich – and I grabbed a second sample while I was there.

The bagel that I tried was a pretty standard whole wheat bagel, and the veggie cream cheese was a bit too veggie tasting for me.  The sugar cookie – while it was adorable  – was pretty standard too.

The night really was worth it just to discover that delicious sandwich.  And maybe even to try the French Onion soup.

Thanks Panera for a great event, I look forward to more in the future!

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