Pick Two - Creamy Tomato Soup and Caesar Salad with Chips ($8.08)
Large Lemonade ($2.99)
After my visit at the Panera Bread near the corner of Yonge and Dundas, and experiencing the dirty cutlery (click for photo) and poor service - it really turned me off from coming back to this location. I've had better experiences with the Panera Bread at the Shops of Don Mills and on Highway 7 and Warden. I was initially thinking of visiting the Highway 7 location to squeeze in some study time and lunch prior to my midterm in downtown Toronto, but the impending rain changed my mind and I decided to head downtown first just in case traffic was bad. Since so many of my friends dined at the Yonge location before, I figured perhaps last time was a fluke.
This second visit was much better than the first, but wasn't enough to change my mind about this particular location. The service was much better and the cashier was friendly. The problem this time wasn't service or the cutlery. It was the salad. It was terrible - and it was only a Caesar salad! It didn't taste right. It tasted as though they washed the salad and left soap studs in it. It was not refreshing at all! In addition, for a Caesar salad, there was a disappointing lack of salad dressing. I was literally eating a plain bowl of lettuce with croutons in it. I didn't want to make a fuss since I never really had to return a dish I've ordered myself before and I was trying to cram the last amount of lecture into my head before my test. The creamy tomato soup was delicious but kind of on the warm/cold side, but acceptable. Lemonade was generous for the size (the regular size is $2.79 - so for 20 cents more got the large) but slightly on the sweet side.
I don't dislike Panera Bread as a franchise, but I don't like the Yonge and Dundas location because I think it's reasonable to expect friendly service, clean cutlery, and a hearty, healthy, and refreshing meal that I'm fully satisfied with for the premium price of $12.51 - especially if it's simply a cup of soup and a small Caesar salad. I feel like Panera Bread is a franchise that prides itself on quality food and service - but I simply don't believe that this location has it.
322 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1R8