Sandwiches in Review: Panera Bread’s Cuban Chicken Panini

April 21, 2012

Panera Bread is not a restaurant I review frequently, and not without reason.  While their sandwiches are generally delicious and their baked goods top-notch, Panera Bread usually skews a bit more expensive than I’d like, especially when eating at a chain restaurant.  However, I’d like to branch out a little bit, so I decided to swing by Panera last week and see what’s new.

Full disclosure: I have no idea if the Cuban Chicken Panini is new or not. It just looked good.

Reviewing the Cuban Chicken Panini requires a little bit of background.  A Cuban sandwich is a ham and cheese variant which includes sliced ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard.  It’s sort of like a Reuben, in terms of flavors (the mustard and pickles give it a bite), but less kosher.  It’s a great lunch choice, and I recommend ordering one if you’re at a restaurant which offers it.

Here, Panera has chosen to trade out the roasted pork for roasted chicken.  It’s an interesting choice, and with the addition of chipotle mayo, it makes for a tasty sandwich.  It’s a little bit different than a usual Cuban, but still close enough that the name makes sense, unlike some other sandwiches (looking at you, T.N.T Reuben).  It’s about $8 for the sandwich and a drink, and well worth checking out, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the style.


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