Thank you to Howley Bread Group and Panera Bread for sponsoring this post and giving us the opportunity to dine at the new Panera Bread location in Enfield, Connecticut.
Last month, Panera Bread relocated to its brand new stand-alone location in Enfield, Connecticut. We were super excited to be invited to the grand opening celebration!
Panera Bread in Enfield is part of the Howley Bread Group, which has over 28 Bakery-Cafe locations across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut! Panera has been in Enfield since 2003 at the Enfield Square Mall, but is excited to now have it’s own stand-alone cafe. I was excited to meet all the amazing people who made this new Panera location possible!
The Howley Bread Group is amazing at giving back to the community. All leftover food is donated to Little Sisters of the Poor, right in Enfield. They also have a coin collection at the front cashier counter with all donations going to Foodshare. Between all 11 locations in Connecticut, Howley Bread Group was able to donate $11,000 to Foodshare last year! Panera in Enfield will also be hosting fundraising nights for local schools and clubs, with 20% of all donations going to the organization. What an amazing company!
We have been watching for months as the new Panera Bread building was taking shape in Stateline Plaza on Elm Street (just across from the Home Depot). And while they only moved across the street from their previous spot in the Enfield Square Mall, there is something super exciting about this new location.
For starters, it’s so much easier to visit and park! On rainy days, it will be so convenient running in for lunch or grabbing a to-go order.
Second, it’s very modern and updated. The interior is beautiful, clean and spacious. They have plenty of seating for their guests that choose to dine in.
At the new Panera Bread, right when you walk in, you have the option to either order at the counter or use one of their self-service kiosks.
On busy days, I love the kiosks. You can enter your Panera rewards info, grab a pager and even your drink cups right at the same station.
I also love using the counter and having a chance to order with one of their cashiers. Granted, I always get tempted by the cookies, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay.
They offer the same fantastic menu with fresh and healthy ingredients. I have always been a huge Panera fan for this reason. It’s one of the few “fast-food” places I can eat at and not feel guilty about! I also never question myself when I take my son out to eat here. Mom guilt can be real when it comes to eating out- especially when the kids constantly order chicken nuggets. When we go to Panera Bread, I know that his dinner will be a much healthier option!
Some of our family favorites at Panera are the grain bowls, the turkey chili or broccoli cheddar soup, and the bacon turkey bravo. Often times we opt for the Pick Two so we don’t have to choose between our favorites!
For breakfast, they also have a great selection of freshly prepared foods including wraps and breakfast sandwiches, eggs your way, or you can indulge with something from the bakery. All of their bakery items are baked on-site overnight! Talk about fresh! Have you ever had their cinnamon rolls? To die for. I like pairing it up with a caramel latte for the perfect breakfast combination.
On the day we visited, we opted to dine in. After we ordered, we grabbed our pager and had a seat at one of their high-top tables. My son is currently obsessed with high-top tables. I personally am not a fan of these kind of tables on account of my really short legs. But I suffer for my son. They also have plenty of booths and tables with chairs.
For parents with little ones, they offer plenty of highchairs. Just head towards the back wall by the bathroom hallway to grab one!
While this one tried to figure out how to set the pager off, I grabbed our drinks.
The drink counter includes coffee and hot water for tea, as well as a soda fountain and the hand-crafted lemonades, frescas and iced teas we love at Panera Bread.
We sat right across from the pick up window, waiting for our lunch.
Just next to the pick up window, you’ll find their rapid pickup shelf. I use this super-convenient option all the time. I love ordering from my mobile app while we are either at home or on the go, and just running in for my food. It’s such a life-saver!
So what was for lunch today?
Well, the little guy went with his usual: a turkey and cheese sandwich. The kids meals also come with your choice of a yogurt, chips, bread or apple.
And I chose my latest favorite: the Mediterranean Grain Bowl with chicken (hold the olives). Grain bowls are the best. They’re fresh, they taste amazing and I like to think it’s a healthy option. I am seriously addicted to these and could eat them daily. One weekend, I did.
Now, I have been saving the best for last. Panera Bread in Enfield has definitely tipped the scales at being one of the best dining options in town by adding a drive-thru window at their new stand-alone restaurant. I still find it amazing and really crazy that Panera of all places can offer a drive-thru, but they do it and they do it well! On top of it all, the drive-thru hours are the same as the cafe!
The entire menu is available for ordering at the drive-thru!
And it’s super quick! I cannot tell you how much this is a game changer for parents! There are some days when I just want to get my food and go, and not deal with car seat buckles, or tantrums in the checkout line, or chasing a crazy child through a parking lot. This is every parents dream come true!
As usual, lunch was amazing! I expect that we will be visiting this Panera Bread in Enfield frequently. Not that we didn’t before, but between the super convenient parking, the drive-thru option and the updated, modern look of the new restaurant, I have a feeling they are going to know us by name…
This about sums it up…
130 Elm Street – Enfield, Connecticut
Monday to Saturday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; coffee and bakery items
- Dine-in, carry-out, mobile ordering and drive-thru
- Delivery available
- Free Parking
- Lots of seating
- Extensive Kids Menu with many healthy options available – includes one side
- Major credit cards accepted
- Rewards program available
- Changing table located in ladies room