By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
One of my son’s favorite places to eat “fast food” is from Panera Bread. Specifically, he likes the one on Highway-10 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I wanted something light and decided to stop by the other day for a quick bite.
Although I enjoy eating heavy foods, my waistline can’t hack it, which relegates me to eating light and healthy foods 90% of the time. Panera specializes in sandwiches (and paninis,) so I order the Tomato Mozzarella Panini. I make fresh mozzarella sandwiches at home, complete with tomato, basil, and a vinaigrette, and am looking for a similar experience while at Panera.
My food takes about 10 minutes to make and arrives steaming hot. The sandwich is large, a little on the thin side, but smells very good. The first bite is greasy, with a huge amount of cheese. The sandwich looks thin, but it is as heavy as a lead balloon on my stomach. The cheese should not be melted as much as it is (for this kind of sandwich,) and the amount of oil used is beyond reasonable. I eat about a 1/4 of the sandwich and throw the rest of it away.
Needless to say, I am a little disappointed. I know Panera is a chain, but I thought a Tomato Mozzarella Panini would be good and light at the same time. I make them all the time at home and they are much lighter in calories, fat, and flavor. I know a lot of people like Panera, and I do too usually. Just avoid the Tomato Mozzarella Panini.
On further inspection, I found the nutritional information for the panini: 770 calories, 29 grams of total fat, and 10 grams of saturated fat! Wow…that is an amazing amount of fat and calories for such a sandwich. A Big Mac from McDonald’s has 704 calories and 43.7 grams of fat. This panini has more calories than a Big Mac…..I don’t know what to say other than to avoid it.