Sunday, January 26, 2014

Panera Lobster Bisque- Target: Cherry Hill, NJ

Panera Lobster Bisque- Target: Cherry Hill, NJ
I have mentioned this in several posts, so a lot of you know this already, but I used to work at Panera Bread. Food service jobs can be stressful and difficult, but I really loved working there and it was a fantastic job while I was in college. Not only was I able to work with really fun people, but I was surrounded by yummy food. During my time there I tried every single soup we served, but I had never seen this one before. I am guessing this is a new offering for the Panera grocery store line, since I haven't seen this served in any restaurant, but I am not 100% sure. (It might be served at specific locations.)
I was really curious about this flavor, so I picked up a container and headed to the checkout line.

When compared to other heat-and-eat soups on the market, the packaging is simple but sophisticated. The clear plastic tub allows you to see the product while still serving it's purpose, and the designs are bold but simple. Text is kept to a minimum while a large appetizing photo does all the talking. I have to say I was hungry while I was shopping, which is always a bad idea, and this photo really sealed the deal on this purchase. I was cold and hungry, so a warm bowl of buttery soup was a welcome sight. I may be a little biased, due to my love of Panera, but I feel like this is a pretty nice packaging design.
Once you remove the black plastic lid there is a thin plastic film which needs to be removed before heating up your soup. I tried to peel it up but there was no way I could get a grip on it. The little pull tab was just too tiny and the plastic was really thin. I ended up grabbing a little knife and slicing it away, which wasn't really an issue, but it was a minor inconvenience.
I followed the provided directions when heating up my soup and I noticed that while it cooked the kitchen started to smell like buttery soft pretzels. It was an appealing smell, but it didn't make any sense. Why does my lobster bisque smell like hot soft pretzels? 
I grabbed a spoon to give it a try and I found the bisque's consistency to be quite thin, much thinner than I expected. I am used to Panera's soups, even the grocery store variety, being a bit thicker. 
This soup is unlike any lobster bisque I have ever had before. This tastes like sweetened crab meat, butter, and soft pretzels. It was an interesting flavor combination, and not necessarily bad, but entirely unexpected. After a few spoonfuls I decided that I liked the flavoring, but the thin, soup-like, consistency made it a bit difficult to eat. I felt like I should be dipping bread or crackers into this stuff instead of eating it on it's own.

As far as lobster bisque goes, this is a fail, but it might make an interesting party dip. I enjoyed the flavor, but it kind of feels like I am drinking something really bad for me, like a cheese fondue or Alfredo sauce. If I do end up buying this again I'd serve it fondue style with bits of soft pretzel, toasted bread, and veggies, not a soup.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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4 comments:

  1. I got 2 for five deal and agree its too thin and sweet but bland. Wont try again , the clam chowder is spot on! Chick noodle is suppose to be good.

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  2. Theres an awful after taste too? Maybe lobster picks up the container flavor?

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  3. Theres an awful after taste too? Maybe lobster picks up the container flavor?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I got 2 for five deal and agree its too thin and sweet but bland. Wont try again , the clam chowder is spot on! Chick noodle is suppose to be good.

    ReplyDelete