When I heard earlier this year, in March or April, I believe, that Panera had changed their menu and added a Mediterranean Salmon Salad to their menu, I was thrilled! I love salmon and put it atop a salad and I am one happy gal! I kept meaning to get into Panera to give the new salad a try, but life is busy, so I didn’t get there until this past weekend. I was very disappointed to see that it was no longer on the menu. I understand that menus change seasonally, but would think that seafood (salmon) would be something that would remain on the menu through the summer. On the flip side, I have noticed in the grocery store lately that the price of salmon has gone up, so perhaps that had something to do with the change.
I emailed Pat, Panera Bread Customer Comment Coordinator, and got the most current gluten-free menu to share with you all. As you can see, the salmon salad is still listed on this menu.
GLUTEN FREE LIST – Panera Bread **
**Although we try to meet your special requirements, we cannot ensure that these items have not come into contact with gluten in our bakery-café.
** Gorgonzola and bleu cheeses are commonly made with mold incubated on wheat. Some may choose to avoid these cheeses for this reason and you may substitute another cheese if you prefer. Items containing these ingredients are indicated below with (G) or (BC).
Salads: (including the salad dressing)
(source of modified food starch is corn)
Fandango Salad (G)
Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Mediterranean Salmon Salad Salmon Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
Classic Cafe Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with
Chicken Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (G)
California Mission Chicken Salad
Orchard Harvest Chicken Salad (G)
Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad (G)
BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad Tomato,
Mozzarella & Basil Salad (without croutons)
Fruit Cup: all watermelon
Fruit Cup: mixed fruit with watermelon, cantaloupe, red seedless grapes, and strawberry
Salad Dressings: (source of modified food starch is corn) Balsamic Vinaigrette Caesar Greek Poppyseed Raspberry Vinaigrette Asian Sesame Vinaigrette White Balsamic Vinaigrette Roasted Garlic & Meyer’s Lemon Vinaigrette BBQ Ranch
Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
Cuban Black Bean and Lentil
Vegetarian Roasted Red Pepper & Lentil
Vegetarian Butternut Squash
Creamy Tomato (without croutons)
Low-Fat Vegetarian Southwest
Tomato & Roasted Corn
Chili Summer Corn Chowder
Low-Fat Chicken Tortilla Soup
Juice, both apple and orange
Soda, fountain and bottled
Tea, regular and Chai Tea
All lattes & Frozen beverages
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Panera Bread Potato Chips
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Since I had emailed Pat before heading to Panera, I brought along an Udi’s gluten-free bagel with sundried tomatoes & cream cheese in case they really didn’t have the salmon. I was convinced that they would have one, lone piece of salmon for little ole me. Yeah, not so much. I did end up ordering the Greek Salad and was very impressed. The salad was a wonderful mix of greens, tomatoes, feta and kalamata olives. Perfect compliment to my bagel. Before ordering I asked to speak with the manager to ensure that the person making my salad changed their gloves and there was no cross-contamination. I appreciate the options that Panera offers.
The most important lesson that I am trying to get across (and keep in mind myself, too), is that it is absolutely necessary to keep up on changes in restaurants should you choose to dine out while eating gluten-free. Ingredients, suppliers and recipes change. Something that may have been gluten-free at one point in time may not be gluten-free any longer or vice versa.