Listen. This semester hasn’t been a breeze. But one routine that has kept me grounded for the last three-and-a-half months has been going to Panera Bread on the College Avenue campus after my last class of the day every Tuesday and treating myself to one of its sandwiches. I won’t lie — most weeks, I didn’t feel like branching out, and I often defaulted to the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, aka my wife for life.

But when I was feeling up for the challenge, I tried many of its other sandwiches that I’d never tried before. I’ll be ranking all of the sandwiches I had there this semester from my least favorite to my number one for your reading (and eating) pleasure!

#6 — Toasted Steak and White Cheddar

This sandwich consisted of yummy but dry bread, semi-dry steak to match, and two thin, somewhat melted slices of white cheddar cheese that I would’ve preferred to be a little more gooey. Overall, I’m a big fan of a wet sandwich, and this was the antithesis of that, which isn’t this sandwich’s fault. It’s in its nature. This sandwich made me realize how much sauce and condiments mean to me because I felt every bite and was granted no soggy relief from the crunch whatsoever, more like Toasted Steak and White Cheddar Sandwich.

#5 — Deli Turkey Sandwich

This sandwich, I definitely have mixed feelings about. I love a saucy sando, but the Dijon mustard slathered on this one is unusually seedy, and the texture really bothered me. I probably would have been a lot cooler with it if it wasn’t on a cold sandwich (something I didn’t realize until I ordered it —  NOTHING is more jarring than a cold sandwich when you’re expecting a warm one, but that’s not my girl Panera Bread’s fault). Overall, different expectations would’ve made this flavor experience a lot more enjoyable, so the jury’s out on this one for now.

#4 — Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich

My sandwich only suffered from one shortcoming — it was 50% sauce and 50% everything else. I love BBQ sauce, but mostly as a featured artist, not so much as the headliner. Ignoring that, this dining experience was like a dream. The white bread was crispy on the outside but soft from the sauce on the inside. Every bite was like noshing on the world’s tastiest, tangiest pillow. With chicken and melted cheese, you can’t really go wrong. If there had just been more emphasis on the chicken part of this dude’s title, he would’ve been a 10/10 in my book.

#3 — Toasted Frontega Chicken

The bread used to craft a sandwich honestly might be the most important variable when it comes to how much I enjoy it, personally. My favorite bread available at Panera Bread is its Black Pepper Focaccia, which the Toasted Frontega Chicken utilizes to its full effect by pairing it with its deliciously tender pulled chicken. It contains just the right amount of Panera Bread’s yummalicious chipotle sauce, which I am ALWAYS grateful for every day of my life. Add in some fresh mozzarella, and it’s just a bang-up sandwich in all aspects.

#2 — Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich

This was the first sandwich I ever got from Panera Bread when I was a little lad back in 1945. Maybe I’m biased because of that, but something about it has a hold on me even after all this time. I only got it once this semester, but that’s because she’s tried and true. I know I can always count on her. If the coldness caught me off guard in the Deli Turkey Sandwich, here it comforts and delights. The memory of the crispy bacon and juicy turkey combined with Panera Bread’s Signature Sauce is enough to make my mouth water. She will always be famous.

#1 — Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

Just a quick Google image search for this sandwich has made me HUNGRY. This is the pinnacle of sandwich artistry perfection. It contains the wonderful chicken-chipotle sauce combination of the Toasted Frontega Chicken, but the addition of fresh avocado and crisp peppadew peppers launches this beautiful creation straight to the top spot in my ranking. This little fella won the sandwich war. I’m not sure what the laws are in New Jersey regarding a person’s right to marry a meal, but I’ll be totally fine with eloping if necessary. Okay, that’s all gotta go, I need to get me another one of these ASAP.


There are no winners in life, but in the world of sandwich preferences, there definitely are. Get out there and decide for yourself which 'wich will be your number one.