This past week Idaho’s very first Panera Bread opened in Nampa, and I finally made it out there this evening. One of the things that saddened me when I got stationed in Idaho was that there were no Panera Bread’s in the entire state! How could that be?! Well I can finally get my Panera Bread fix twenty minutes outside of Boise. Previously I could only get my hands on the wonderful Chipotle Chicken Panini while I was on leave back in Pennsylvania or TDY to somewhere like Florida.
I’m glad Panera has finally made it to Idaho, however I do hope they open a store in Boise before too long so I don’t have to make the drive to Nampa. Something is better than nothing at least.
The experience was a little hectic, this being the location’s first Friday evening since it opened. The restaurant was packed and the line was long and slow moving. It seemed everyone had a lot of questions as they made it to the registers to order, which I can understand as many might not have ever eaten at a Panera before. There was a staff member handing out menus to those waiting in line and answering any questions they had which was nice, however I’m not sure it made things quicker. This wasn’t so much the staff’s fault, it was more slow moving customers, but again this was all to be expected.
I’m sure I’ll be making many more trips out to Nampa for Panera Bread lunches in the near future. Now if only Yuengling could make its way out here!
Next Friday I head back to my home state of Pennsylvania and I’m excited to be around some of the things I miss about the East Coast. I’ve been stationed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho for nearly two years and although it’s been nice there are quite a few things I can’t get out here.
First there’s Sheetz, the one stop spot combines a gas station, convenience store, sandwich shop (MTO’s, or made-to-order sandwiches) and a coffee shop. I worked at a Sheetz in Red Lion, PA for nearly 6 years through college and up until I joined the Air Force. It was a great place to work, always bright, vibrant and alive even during the night shift. You had the chance to meet hundreds of interesting people a day in a fast paced environment. I also enjoyed the food. I’m excited to see what has changed since the last time I was home over a year ago. Things at Sheetz would change pretty often so there’s a good chance there will be quite a few new menu additions waiting for me when I stop in next Friday.
Next up is Yuengling lager, which is also native to Pennsylvania. It’s been my favorite beer ever since I turned 21 and I’ve never found anything that rivals it. I remember one of the first times I went out while I was at Keesler AFB, Mississippi and I tried to order a Yuengling only to be met with confusion by the waitress. It was a devastating revelation to realize I wouldn’t have access to my favorite beer in other parts of the country.
Panera Bread can be found all over the country, but for whatever reason there isn’t one in Idaho. Panera Bread is easily my favorite ”fast” restaurant and I’m quite excited to visit once or twice while I’m in the northeast.
I’m also excited to be able to visit D.C. and New York City with my girlfriend who has never been to the northeast. It should be a fun time! I just have to make it through four more days of work 🙂