Panera Bread just added something to their food lineup that no major national quick-service restaurant chain has yet to play with: a custom, build-your-own mac & cheese menu.
Photo courtesy of Panera Bread.
The base of Panera's creative lineup starts with their white Vermont cheddar mac. From there, you're able to add on a variety of toppings at no charge. You can choose two premium toppings (out of a lineup of 3), and up to 3 other accompaniments (out of a list of 4).
Your options for toppings and accompaniments are as follows:
- Smoked Pulled Chicken
- BBQ Sauce
- Pico de Gallo
- Frizzled (aka fried) Onions
If you're not sure what to top your mac with, Panera also has a few pre-set options available. These include BBQ Chicken (chicken, fried onions, and BBQ sauce), Baja (avocado and pico de gallo), and Bacon.
Panera's build-your-own mac menu may not have the variety of other spots, like San Francisco's MAC'D. However, no other national quick-service chain has flirted with such a concept before, meaning that access to this mac & cheese creation hub isn't too far away from wherever you are, especially given Panera's national reach.
You can find the custom mac lineup at participating Panera locations nationwide, and also order it via their online app and website. There's also a catering version that's more of a build-your-own mac bar, where all of the toppings come served on the side.