Thursday, August 9, 2007

Panera Bread

Panera Bread scores big for providing full ingredient lists on their website.

I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items
are vegan (no animal products)? Thank you for taking the time to
research this.

Panera Bread response
Dear Erin,
Thank you for contacting Panera Bread. You can find nutritional profiles and complete ingredients for our current menu items on our website.
On our homepage, choose Menu & Nutrition. You can then select a
category: Our Bakery Menu, Our Cafe Menu or For Your Pantry. You can either browse through our menus page by page, or you can navigate directly to your menu choices using the links at the top of the page (in green). For example, in the Cafe Menu category, you can take links directly to Hand Tossed Salads, Sandwiches, Beverages, Soups and more. When you see an item you want to know more about, click on it and a page with that item's nutritional profile and ingredients will be displayed in an easy-to-print format. If you would like to print out a complete menu with nutrition information, click on the link to our downloadable nutrition guide (in red at the middle of the page). The link can be found on every menu category page.
Thanks again for contacting us. We appreciate your business and value your comments.
Customer Comment Coordinator

The verdict:
The Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, ordered without feta crumbles, is left with a few nutritional additives such as thiamin mononitrate (iron source) that are considered "may or may not be of animal origin." (See Additives: vegan or not?.)
Low fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable soup contains thiamin mononitrate (see above) but is otherwise vegan
Southwest Tomato & Roasted Corn Soup
is vegan
Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup is vegan
The Fresh Fruit Cup is vegan
The Greek salad is vegan if ordered without feta, but the dressing contains MSG
Panera Bread responded the same day and was very helpful in determining what's to eat that's vegan at their restaurant.


Alex said...

I'm a big Panera fan (such an easy way to eat with omnis), so I wanted to add a few things to the list (call me out if I'm wrong, Erin!).

The Mediterranean Veggie can be ordered with different breads. I believe the following breads are vegan: country, french (artisan only; specialty french contains egg whites!), stone-milled rye, three seed, and sourdough (cellulose is okay, right?).

The current seasonal salad is The Orchard Harvest Salad, and it is vegan if ordered without feta.

The cafe salad is vegan if ordered with a different dressing: Cherry Balsalmic, Asian Sesame (I *think* calcium disodium is okay), or balsalmic apple vinaigrette.

The fuji apple salad is vegan if ordered without chicken or cheese (they will probably look at you like you're insane).

You could probably tamper with the other salads as well... just be careful because there are a gabillion and five ingredients in everything.

My fav thing to order at Panera is the you-pick-two with two of the following: black bean soup, med veggie on sourdough, or orchard harvest salad minus the feta. Sourdough roll or apple on the side. Drink iced green tea, mango frozen drink (minus the whip), homestyle lemonade, or coffee.

Kimmy Kasl said...

Thank you so much for your blog Erin! Compiling all this info in one vegan friendly, easy-to-access-and-decipher place, and sharing it online is so great and so helpful!

Thank you * Thank you * Thank you!

audiomodder said...

careful, our Panera has their l-crystaline from an animal source. which takes out most of their breads.

evidently each Panera franchise gets their dough from a set of suppliers, and each does things a little differently...

Kayla said...

hey, i am a vegan and i work at panera.
the med veg is a favourite, and is vegan of course. also, the vegetarian black bean and the new garden vegetable with pesto (the pesto is SEPARATE, and contains dairy, so order without pesto).
i am not clear on every dressing, but fairly certain that anything that doesn't automatically have dairy (caesar, etc) is vegan, including most (if not all) viniagrettes and the asian sesame.
as for breads, at least at MY panera in denver, ALL breads and bagels are vegan unless they obviously have cheese (three cheese, asiago, etc) or are whole grain/whole wheat (they all have honey as a sweetener).
and, as saddens me every day, NO pastries are vegan.
the new smoothies all have yogurt in them; HOWEVER, you can get them all without the yogurt (just ask them to make it like they make the mango freeze). the black cherry is my favourite; it tastes exactly like a cherry jolly rancher!!

Josh Dixon said...

Just a quick note that the Mediterranean Veggie's normal bread contains honey. So if that bothers you, you may want to try one of the other breads that Alex mentioned.