Mac and cheese treat for a quick lunch.


The mac and cheese dish at Panera Bread lingers tastefully long after the encounter. Anytime I need to treat myself to an on-the-go lunch, this comes to mind.
Panera Bread mac and cheese to-go phototaken by author.

The cafe offers many satisfying food choices that are made very well and flavorful. It is a relief to see the mac and cheese dish is still on the menu, even though changing out seasonal and non-selling menu items is necessary at times.

The drive-thru is convenient and organized but walking in gives an overview of the establishment. Glass showcases golden-brown crusty bread loaves and baguettes in rows and sweet croissants sitting beside fruit muffins with sugar tops and oversized cookies conveniently next to the ordering counter. The staff is helpful and courteous.

The mac and cheese are so delicious and come automatically with a side of baguette bread baked to perfection and has a unique savory taste. For an appetite, the pasta dish compliments any half sandwich.

The well-packaged to-go menu items stay fresh to eat in the car or take back to the work office. The pasta comes in a quality to-go container with a tight-fitting lid holding in the heat. A cheese scent escapes once opened and filters up to the senses.

The pasta shells are a perfect size and cooked to perfection. Each piece of pasta tries to capture the creamy sharp white cheese sauce spilling back into the dish. It is to be eaten with a spoon to appreciate the pasta shells and sauce. The creamy cheese sauce lingers in the mouth until the next bite.

I find myself craving this for lunch at least once per week. For all macaroni cheese enthusiasts, it is a must to try.

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I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with a culinary arts degree. My comprehensive blend of cooking and nutrition expertise provides reliable “back to the basics” practical information.

Buckeye, AZ

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