My first exposure to Panera Bread (mine was called Saint Louis Bread Company back in the day) was a store that opened one block away from my apartment when I was living near Euclid in downtown Saint Louis (someday I really need to write about the Euclid district of Saint Louis in the early 1990s, but not now). It was a marvel, serving pricey but quality breads and sweetbreads at breakfast and lunch. These days the names have changed, they have added soups and sandwiches and they have local competitors, the Atlanta Bread company chain.

This store is nicely and centrally located, has indoor and outdoor seating, is squeaky clean, and has even added to the sweets and breads from the time I first encountered this chain. I really wasn’t expecting the store to be open, and was just getting out to take pictures of the construction. But instead, what I found was a restaurant that is fully open and functional.

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Inside, there already is a line and a bit of a crowd. People have found this location. It’s in the same general shopping area as Target, located where Scenic Highway and Ronald Reagan meet. But it’s in the same bit of strip mall as Sakegura Japanese, so if you don’t see it immediately, look around.

To thoroughly review Panera would take multiple visits. I can say that over the years I’ve had their soups, their sandwiches, their salads. But I like their breads and sweetbreads the best. The sandwiches I’ve always found to be pricey, and their best breads have prices that resemble those at Gourmandises.  But it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I’ve thought Paneras to be a “best of breed” chain, and having one in the area makes a trip to, say, Alons to get breads less of an issue.

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Walnut muffins, pumpkin muffins, and sourdough rolls from Paneras.

Verdict: Excellent bread and sandwich shop. Welcome in Snellville. Very Highly Recommended.

Panera Bread
1905 Scenic Highway
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 982-3055

Panera Bread on Urbanspoon

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