First Impressions: All-Natural Steak Chili with Cornbread from Panera

I came across a new “seasonal” item at PaneraAll-Natural Steak Chili with Cornbread.

A blend of brisket, ground beef, onions, bell peppers & kidney beans

$4.79 for a cup.  Pricey and just OK tasting.  I liked the sweet cornbread pieces thrown in, but as far as just the chili goes… I would’ve liked something a bit more hearty.  If there were any signs of chunks of steak or a decent amount of beans, I’d recommend this chili.  At $4.79, it was just a little underwhelming.  As for spicy, it never claimed to be and it wasn’t at all… so that’s that.  If not for the baguette on the side, I’d be in line again looking for something extra.  Decent menu item, but I’d pass on a future buy.

10 comments on “First Impressions: All-Natural Steak Chili with Cornbread from Panera

  1. Mike N says:

    Sounds like a letdown! I’ve been hearing the radio ads for this and was going to check it out, but I think I’ll stick to Wendy’s chili (now that I have a Wendy’s in the area!)

    BTW, I liked the El Pollo Loco sirloin steak chili quite a bit, but they don’t seem to have it anymore — plus I’ve been so let down by my local EPL that I gave up on them.

  2. Christopher says:

    Not to be cynical, but I can’t think of a single menu item at Panera that is worth the jacked-up price.
    Except for bagels. They are $1.25 and the best and so delicious with butter. However if you add cream cheese, the price jumps to $2.80. Rather ridiculous.

  3. Manavee says:

    I generally agree with Christopher. For my money, Corner Bakery is better across the board than Panera (with the exception of some of the pastry items).

    I did try this chili and agree completely with the review. It was fine, but nothing special.

  4. Jessica Leigh says:

    Wow, that is pretty pricey! I love Panera, but I’ve never liked their soup-type items.

  5. jeff says:

    i agree with the review. it took four spoons worth to find the “steak”. The idea of the cubed cornbread was a good idea. Wouldn’t order again though!

  6. jesika says:

    i found a cup to be a pretty good compliment to a sandwich,
    but i agree thats its not a hearty enough chili to stand up on its
    own. flavor was good, and mine had some chunks of steak, but i like
    my chili REALLY beany and chunky. i do love cornbread though so
    that was a big plus, although the sweetness was a little
    cloying.

  7. Fifi says:

    I found the Panera chili to be too spicy/hot for me, the cornbread was a good idea, although it was too sweet and I prefer white cornbread. I am not fond of chili with a lot of beans, so the lack of a lot of beans was fine with me. The overall taste was good, just too spicy for me. I chose it as part of the pick two deal with a salad, and thought the value was okay for a filling meal, if a bit on the pricey side.

  8. missouri says:

    “blend of brisket” – mine looked more like pieces of roast beef…and too spicy for my liking – best part was the tasty cornbread on top.

  9. At says:

    The best soup item is the chicken wild rice soup in the bread bowl.

  10. Alison says:

    The packaged Panera chili sold at Target is pretty close to inedible: the ground beef is full of gristle, the pieces of roast beef are tough, and there is not much else going on with it.

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