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Salma Gundi

Au Bon Pain, in all of its corporate glory, is my number 1 place to go for a quick work. They always have fresh fruit, both whole and cut. And they always have 2 soups on the soup bar that are low enough in calories that I can have them for lunch. And if I'm uncertain about which one besides Chicken Noodle is the low-cal offering, I can look up the nutrition standards on their little computer terminal kiosk that is in the store. I don't know if all the stores do that or just the ones in Chicago - but I think that is the coolest thing a corporate quick serve has done in a long time. Some days I even get to have a piece of the wheat baguette with my soup because I can do the math right there while I'm making a decision and see if it's going to put me over the dieting edge.

The Jamaican Black Bean is one of my favorites, along with French Moroccan Lentil and Vegetarian Chili. They put a guide to the soup offerings online and also usually hand out little desk tents with calendars of 2 months blocks with what the schedule for the soups is hoped to be ... but at our closest location, the manager usually switches things around to fit what will sell.

I agree with you that some of their offerings are beyond the pale in the sodium count - but it's a trade-off I'm willing to take every once in awhile. And the Steak and Cranberry sald is immensely doable, too.

Do I sound like a PR rep for Au Bon Pain yet? I am very grateful to them, as well, that their sweet baked goods look like wax replications meant for display only. It helps me make a beeline for the soup bar :)


Wow, computer terminals with the nutrition info? I don't think the two stores I've seen in my new digs have those, but then again I wasn't looking too closely. That's very cool.

And yes, I've been impressed with their fresh fruit offerings and the soups too. I could see the place becoming one of my regular lunch choices.

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