October 1, 2011

Lunch @ Artisano Bakery

Artisano Bakery reminds me a lot of Panera Bread. The concept is very similar: artisan sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods. You order at the cashier, and they give you a buzzer that lights up when your food is ready. I recently discovered a location right where I work, so suddenly, my weekday lunch possibilities appear infinitely more appealing.
So many varieties of bread!
They have a half sandwich and soup/salad option, so I ordered a steak and provolone panini with a side of corn chowder. I was perplexed when they presented me with this sandwich, because it was certainly not grilled. I recognized the steak, but nothing else matched the description. When I informed the staff of the mistake, they quickly made me a new sandwich.
Meanwhile, Mel's order of Southern pulled pork sandwich arrived: pulled pork smothered with Artisano BBQ sauce and topped with freshly made coleslaw, all piled onto a Calabrese bun. She opted for a split pea soup as her side. The portion of both the half sandwich and soup was quite large, definitely bigger than Panera bread. The split pea soup was super thick and full of hearty goodness. Although $9.49 for a sandwich combo is quite pricey, I can definitely taste the quality of the ingredients. Mel enjoyed her pulled pork sandwich, but wished that the bread had been served warm.  
My own corn chowder was sweet, creamy, and satisfying. In addition to being loaded with corn, the soup also had chunks of carrots and potato. Both soups are served with a piece of baguette, but Mel and I didn't eat any of it because the soup and half sandwich was enough to fill us up.
Finally, my steak and provolone panini arrived, featuring steak, fire dried tomatoes, grilled eggplant, caramelized red onions and provolone cheese with a horseradish mayonnaise I absolutely loved the onion focaccia because it was so dense and rich with flavours. I'm sometimes apprehensive about ordering a steak sandwich because the meat can turn out to be tough, but this wasn't the case. The steak was tender and the onions, tomatoes and eggplant were lovely accompaniments to delicious meat. After one visit, I'm already quite in love with this place, especially since it's near my workplace. Though it's not exactly cheap, the high-quality sandwiches, soups and salads define perfect lunch food for me!
Artisano Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon





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