I eat at Panera so often I forget to write about it. Our office is near Crossgates. Technically we're in the City of Albany, but we're really between Guilderland and Colonie. Anyway, there's a Panera in Crossgates Commons. Very easy for us to run over there and grab a quick bite, so we go there a lot.
For a chain, I have to say this is really quite good food. First of all, there are a lot of healthy choices, and they taste good. All their soups are healthy, but they always have two that are extra sanctified. My favorite is the vegetarian black bean soup, which they have available most of the time. Sometimes I get the asparagus-pea soup, and that's pretty good too.
There's a wide variety of sandwiches, including at least a couple vegetarian choices. Even though those are good, I usually get a sandwich that's not quite as healthy. You can also get fresh fruit as a side for 79 cents extra, and I always get that. It's usually melon, grapes and pineapple and it's always fresh and tasty.
They have a deal where you get soup and half a sandwich, called "You Pick Two". I don't actually know what it costs, but we usually seem to spend about $10 per person, including the extra for fruit and a coke or something like that.
They also have a pastry and bread section. There's a cheese danish that's so sweet it oughtta be illegal.
I'm not saying Panera is haute cuisine. But it's a darn good lunch. And while it's not cheap, I spend a lot less there than I do when I go to Miyako's for sushi.