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Just thought I would share with the rest of you.

I went to Panera the other day to find out if their new barbeque chicken salad was gluten free. It turns out that I am also dairy free and I imagined that I would simply tell them to leave their ranch dressing off. As I explain my health concerns, the manager and cashier pull out their allergen booklet and assure me that the salad was gluten free. Of course, their ranch dressing still has dairy in it but upon inspection and to my surprise, they discovered that the cesar dressing did not contain any dairy, imagine that. So I had the gluten free salad and had the cesar on the side. I was not as impressed with the salad as I was with the service, but sometimes the factor that keeps customers coming back. The salad was nothing I couldn't make myself, but I was just pleased to be able to know that there is a safe item for me on the menu. My friends and family eat at Panera frequently and I can enjoy their company without going hungry or taking a risk in an unfamiliar restaurant. There are actually quite a few gluten free items here as long as you are not also casein intolerant like me. I recommend it.

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I am not a huge fan of Panera, but I was pleasantly surprised at their gigantic allergy book. They pulled it out for me one day, too, so I could examine their soups. I've always loved their black bean soup and last I looked, it was good to go.

There is definitely something to be said for having options at any place you find yourself... sandwich shop or otherwise :)

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