Matt Bonner's Sandwich Hunter: February 22: Indianapolis

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Entry #17 - Panera Break: Indianapolis
by Matt Bonner

Worst sandwich hunt to date.  I went to Panera for lunch today.  I've been there many times and although they have excellent bagels, coffee, soups, salads and desserts, their sandwiches need improvement.  I think they try to be too fancy. 

I walked into Panera amidst the corporate lunch rush and got in line.  I perused the ever changing menu of elaborate sandwiches and decided on a frontega chicken panini, with no onions.  My turn came and I placed my order.  I was then informed that it is not possible to get my sandwich without onions.  After checking for me, she came back with "My manager says our panini's are pre-made so if you want no onions it will be about 20 minutes."

I know from experience that I don't even really like any of their paninis.  Most of them have too much onions, garlic, artichokes, etc. that dominate the taste.  So I decided to change my order to something basic: a tuna sandwich on wheat with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.  To this, she responded, "I'm sorry but we don't have pickles.  Is just lettuce and tomato ok?"  Those of you out there who like pickles know that they can make a sandwich so I was disappointed they didn't have any.

I sat down with my lunch and contemplated chopping up my pickle spear and putting it in my sandwich.  The soup and fresh baked bread were delicious but the tuna sandwich was just average.  I have zero culinary skills and I felt that even I could have duplicated it in my kitchen. 

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