Review: Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT from Panera

Eating healthier has been at the forefront of my mind recently. I’ve started to make conscious decisions about my health and fitness lately, so for dinner I drove to my local Panera for a Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT. Not exactly diet food, but absolutely better for you than a greasy burger. I have long enjoyed their menu and have always gotten excellent service. Today’s venture was no exception.

Placing my order, I walked over to the fountain station. As I waited for the buzzer to begin vibrating and the friendly “Dustin? Your order’s ready.” I couldn’t help noticing that there was no one behind the counter. I had been there for mere minutes, but that was a bad sign. My eyes narrowed and my rather formidable eyebrows began to knit together as I pondered how long it would take to deliver my sandwich as they obviously had not yet started. Out of nowhere the coaster shaped buzzer went off and I heard what I had been waiting for. Before my eyes a short twenty-something appeared, smiling behind the counter. She was maybe 5 feet 2 inches and had been completely obscured by the cooler distributing the green tea as she crafted my dinner.  And craft she did.

Panera describes the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT like this:

All-natural roasted turkey, Applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and fresh avocado with reduced-fat olive oil mayo on our freshly baked Sourdough.

The sandwich as a whole was delectable. I am usually quite apprehensive ordering turkey anywhere as it tends to have a crumbly texture and all the moisture of the Mojave at noon, however I was taken aback by the incredibly moist roasted turkey. The bacon, while sliced rather thin was the epitome of add-ons. This bacon had that elusive texture between chewy and crispy that I adore in my pork products with undeniably intense flavor as if it were fresh out of the frying pan, despite being served cold. Fresh, crunchy lettuce and juicy tomato complemented the meats perfectly, however the avocado was a trifle bland. There was enough flavor to let you know it was avocado, but not enough to actually enhance the overall impression. Not to mention pieces of avocado squirmed out the sides at regular intervals. My suggestion would be to add more avocado made into a spread rather than small chunks piled on top of the bottom slice of bread.. The mayonnaise was standard fare, adequate but not exceptional and there simply wasn’t enough of it. The condiment was quite scant on the sourdough, which itself was somewhat bland and added little flavor to the creation.   While the sourdough was soft and tasted exceedingly fresh, it was nothing special.

In sum up, the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT from Panera was very tasty despite the small amount of mayo, the runaway avocado and the humdrum sourdough. Enhancing those three things would make this an excellent permanent addition to the Panera menu, though I would recommend it more for lunch as it is not a very large item. A nearly 9-bucks after tax for the sandwich, chips and a pickle spear, I found it to be on the expensive side of things and would suggest the U Pick 2 option, getting half a sandwich and say, maybe some french onion soup. Definitely not a regrettable decision, but if you get one, ask for extra mayo.

Pros: Mostly flavorful, very fresh ingredients. THE BACON, MY GOD, THE BACON.

Cons: Bland avocado, chintzy on the condiments, average sourdough

Taste: 8.75/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.00/10
Price: $8.29 w/chips and pickle spear

Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10

More Info: PaneraBread.com
Nutrition Facts:
ROASTED TURKEY & AVOCADO BLT ON SOURDOUGH serving size: 11 oz
Calories: 510 g
Total Fat: 22g
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol : 70 mg
Sodium: 940 mg
Total Carbs: 47 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 32 g

15 comments on “Review: Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT from Panera

  1. Erin says:

    That bread is really crying out to be toasted.

  2. Dustin says:

    It practically begs for it.

  3. Manavee says:

    More Panera, Cosi, and Corner Bakery reviews and news, please!

    I liked this sandwich as well, in a sort of nondescript Panera way. I like Panera fine, but their sandwiches tend to stick to safe and traditional flavor pairings.

    This is why I prefer Cosi. They seem to take more risks, which sometimes are spectacular and sometimes are spectacular failures….but at least they do some things outside of the box.

    Panera has the best bread though, hands down.

  4. Jack Smoke says:

    h8 their prices.

  5. Cecil says:

    I have had this an it is FAR superior if you get it on the Tomato Basil Bread instead of the Sourdough :D

  6. Crysta says:

    If they mush the avocado into a spreadable consistency, they wouldn’t need the mayo at all. Still, it sounds tasty.

  7. Jim says:

    Looks like a good sandwich. I agree with the tomato basil bread recommendation. That is my favorite.

    The local competition to Panera in our area is McAlister’s Deli.
    http://www.mcalistersdeli.com/storemenus/63060%20Peak%20New%20Menu.pdf

    Not sure if you have one close to you, but it’s a good place. I like their muffuletta.

  8. Mr. Fed Up says:

    We are getting a Panera bread soon, and I am looking forward to it. The ones I have always been to while traveling were nice…but the things that always bothers me is the high price as other commenters said…I rather just make my own sandwich at home

  9. Dustin says:

    The tomato basil bread would have been perfect. In fact, my favorite sandwich at Panera is the Bacon Turkey Bravo. <3

  10. Cecil says:

    Bacon Turkey Bravo is my favorite too, but I have had nearly every sandwich on the menu but replaced the bread with Tomato Basil :D The only problem (at least at the one here) is they often run out of the Tomato Basil Bread and if that happens I just go somewhere else… it’s that good! :D

    • Daisy says:

      Sounds good, I don’t go to Panera often the closest one is about 20 mins away, I use to love their Tuscan chicken sandwich and the portabella as well.

  11. Athena says:

    I’m not necessarily great at rating stuff but I don’t know if I can agree with the value being 7/10. For a few bucks more, you can get a steak and some sides.

  12. Michaela says:

    Just had this today, absolutely disgusting! I’m a big fan of Panera’s sandwhiches, but this one is done sloppy. Avacado should be more a spread, the turkey was huge chunks, the avacado was huge chunks, I couldn’t even pick it up to take a bite without everything falling out. The lettuce was a horrible addition. Please don’t waste your money. Stick to a different sandwhich!!!