Bagels, one of the staples of grab and go food.Almost everywhere you can get these. Two of the main places just around the core of central campus are Panera and Bruegger’s.
Bruegger’s has been around Ann Arbor for quite some time now. Long before Panera moved into the area. Located on N. University, it is right at the heart of the central campus with hundreds of students walking by every day.The inside is cozy and modest. The shop has an elongated style good for forming lines.There’s a limited number of seating on the first floor, but upstairs there’s more room for a long sit down in the morning or hang out with friends. Not to mention, there’s indefinite access to the wi-fi.
Panera has been around the greater Ann Arbor area for a long time. It use to be a popular place to hang out with friends when I was in high school. The Panera on N. University (just a couple doors down from Bruegger’s) was not there until about 2 years ago. I have already forgotten what was there before it moved there. Since it’s still new, the inside is nicely furnished and colored. It is mainly a warm fall shade of orange, warm brown, and red. A very cozy feeling. Just on the first floor there’s plenty of seating, but there’s more in the basement, which I still find kind of odd since I like to be able to see the outside when I eat, but personal preferences I suppose. Although they do have a limit of 30 minutes to their wi-fi, which can be quite inconvenient when you just want a nice atmosphere to get some work done (or write a blog).
Event though Bruegger’s seem like a smaller shop, but their selection is quite impressive. You have the regular flavors such as plain, everything, poppy seed, asiago cheese, etc. There are also some unique flavors such as pumpernickel, rosemary olive oil, and sundried tomato.
The selections are Panera sometimes changes depending on the season. Of course they have their staple flavors such as chocolate chip, asiago cheese, plain, everything, french toast, cinnamon crunch, cinnamon raisin.
Personally, I always get asiago cheese bagel wherever I go. Therefore I have had plenty of experience with the taste of that particular bagel. I like the softness of the freshly made bagel at Brueggers. If you go at a convenient time, you can probably find a fresh batch. There’s the hint if asiago smell, but the bagel isn’t overwhelmed with cheese.
At Panera, the taste and quality of the bagel really depends on the time you go. In the morning, when everything is freshly made, if you ask for the asiago cheese bagel, you will probably find it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I always ask for the bagel to be sliced and toasted. That always brings out the flavor even more and sometimes if find that the cheese melts after it’s been toasted, which is even better. The asiago here is definitely more over powering, covering most of the outside surface of the bagel.
WHO REIGNS SUPREME?
This was a close one as there are pros and cons to each place. Just that over the years, I have realized I tend to lean toward panera bagels more than Bruegger’s. I like that each flavor at Panera is very strong.