I put staff first in my review, because they have made this worth the 5 stars alone. The management is absolutely amazing – they genuinely care about their customers. The general staff is always helpful and always friendly. They greet you with a warm welcome, and there has never been a shortage it seems because I have never waited in a line! We work here nearly every weekday and have grown to love our usual employees and their smiling faces!
Where do I start… I guess with the first meal of the day! Our favorite is the Mediterranean egg white breakfast sandwich. We tried adding turkey to it based upon a staff recommendation and it’s now our go-to breakfast. We typically drink the hazelnut coffee with it (you HAVE TO try it- so yummy) but have also tried the smoothies and they are great. For lunch/dinner I love the tomato/mozzarella Panini and I add chicken, and the creamy tomato soup and chicken avocado cobb salad. For dessert, definitely the double chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. I have honestly tried so many things on the menu and can say with confidence they all tasted great ?
This location is extremely clean, and has a great set-up. It’s very spacious, and there is always room for us to spread out with our computers. Being a remote worker, it’s usually difficult to find somewhere that has free tables and power outlets, but they have plenty here and it’s comfortable and quiet. A few times we have asked to turn the AC down a bit, or the radio to a lower volume, and the management has adjusted promptly! Oh, and they have free Wi-fi, which works great.
Panera is very affordable compared to most places in the OC. On top of the already low base prices, they have a rewards program that offers free items every now and then. If you’re regulars like us, they rack up pretty quickly and we’ve received free bakery items, free espresso, free smoothies, etc. The management is also super nice and has thrown in discounts here and there!
Overall, we love our little Panera in Aliso and thank everyone involved for making our daily experience so positive!!!