Dinner Before the Zoo Boo – Panera, Birmingham Style

I raced off to Rich's on Sunday, so we could grab some dinner before meeting Stephen, Julia, and the baby for the Zoo Boo.  We went to Panera Bread, and I have to say that I was less than impressed.  Either my tastes have changed, or the quality of the food has gone down since the last time I ate there.

I ordered the You Pick Two, opting for the Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and the new Tomato & Mozzarella Panini.

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Here is the soup.  It was pretty bland and tasteless.  At least it was warm, which was soothing on a rather chilly evening. I had to break out hand warmers for my riding lesson, and they were still warm in the evening.  Those and the soup warmed me right up.

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Here is the sandwich.  It wasn't bad, but the fixings were a little on the light side.  I like it when the insides occasionally drip out onto the plate, making a satisfying, sloppy mess.  No chance of that happening here, as the fillings were paper thin.  Guess they had to make some cutbacks to afford that high Birmingham rent

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Here is the best part of the meal - an apple, cream cheesy pastry thingy.   The apples tasted fresh, the cheese was smooth and sweet, and the dough was slightly crunchy, which a sugary glaze.  I just should have ordered a bunch of dessert for dinner.  It's not like my mom was there to stop me from eating pastries for dinner.

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