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If you don't like the name "Panera Bread," it's too late: the St. Louis Bread in Swampscott, Mass., has already been changed, and is apparently considered something of a model for the chain. BTW, "panera" is supposed to be Spanish for bread. So the name of the restaurant is Bread Bread. Hmmm.

That said, we were very impressed. We brought our 7- and 5-year-olds, and everyone liked it. The staff was efficient and friendly -- a BIG improvement over the typical Au Bon Pain experience. Food was fresh and reasonably priced, consisting of sandwiches, salads, soups, and bagels. You could buy bread and goodies at a separate bakery counter, too. Good quality coffee in many varieties.

This particular Panera is located in an iffy shopping plaza with a few closed stores. Panera itself seems to be a magnet. People were streaming in at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. There are numerous fast-food restaurants within a stone's throw, but Panera appeared to be doing a better business than any of them.
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