RICHMOND HEIGHTS Mo. Panera Bread Co. said it has added several spring menu items, including a Cuban Chicken Panini and a Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich.
Dan Kish, head chef of the bakery-cafe chain, said the chain decided to roll out the panini nationally only after it passed a demanding test in Miami, the heart of the Cuban community in America.
"While it was a risk to introduce our spin on a Cuban sandwich to a particularly demanding customer base, we figured that if it could succeed there, it could succeed anywhere,” Kish said. “Judging by our customers' response in Miami, we're confident our take on the Cuban sandwich is going to be a welcome addition to the menu.”
Panera’s version of a Cuban sandwich is made with antibiotic-free chicken, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, chipotle mayo, sun-dried tomato ale mustard and pickle chips marinated in jalapeño-infused brine. It is served on focaccia.
The Jalapeño and Cheddar Bagel Breakfast Sandwich is anchored by the chain’s new jalapeño and cheddar bagel, which is made with corn flour and incorporates cheese in the dough. The bagel is sliced and filled with an egg, Vermont white cheddar and a slice of smoked ham.
Also new to the Panera menu are a Strawberries & Cream Scone made with dried infused strawberries, white chocolate chips and strawberry bits, and an Apple Crunch Muffin. The reduced-fat muffin features chopped apple chunks, topped with a cinnamon and sugar topping.
Panera Bread Co. owns or franchises 1,380 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names.
Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].