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
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.00/10
Price: $8.29 w/chips and pickle spear
Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10
More Info: PaneraBread.com
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