Free Lunch: Panera

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Delicious delicious evil. Panera boxed lunches typically come with a salad, a selection of sandwiches, chips, and assorted cookies. As you can see, I loaded up my plate with salad and sparingly drizzled the balsamic vinaigrette . After eating the salad, I had a single roast beef sandwich to finish things off with a bottle of water. Approximate consumption: 460 calories and 23 grams of fat. As for the cookies, I couldn't resist taking one (damn you irresistible cookies!). I did well though in that I saved it till I got home, where I split it with Scott and halving the amount of calories I would have eaten otherwise.

A few words on Panera: Like many other restaurants, they promote themselves to be "fresh" or having "quality ingredients". I've eaten Panera many times. I do not disagree that their food is not fresh, or that they don't use cheap ingredients. But don't fool yourself into equating that these things are necesarily healthy. Case in point: the tomato and mozzarella salad debacle as related in twitter a few days ago, but I digress! The dilemma remains that while the best way to eat well is to make your own meals, from scratch as much as possible, that is just not possible or realistic in some situations. I also have yet to see a restaurant that lists the nutrition content in plain view at their physical locations, and trying to navigate a website on a cell phone is a bit of a pain at times. To solve that problem somewhat, I will be starting a new occasional feature listing the best food options to get while out and about. Stay tuned for the first installment; Healthy Eating: Panera.

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