Review: Panera Bread Mac & Cheese

For a good long while, Panera mac has been my go-to whenever I challenge someone’s perception of “What is a good mac and cheese?” On further examination, it’s merely OK.


The picture does not lie, the Panera mac is rather creamy and of a good consistency. The pasta is cooked to near perfection. However, like many pastas, it does not travel well. Eat it outside of the “Dine In” window at your own peril.

I am normally stoked to get some Panera mac (mixing it with Potbelly chili is the perfect flavor combo notwithstanding the extreme gastrointestinal stress one would experience over the following 4-5 hours). This time as I dug in, I noticed a distinct lack of flavor. Maybe it was a bad batch or some one was training on how to make it because they believe it is difficult to screw up. The cheese just did not come through as it had in the past.

I will go back and get it again because I feel that one batch was a fluke, but my patience for bland mac is not unlimited.