Panes Bread Cafe: Gourmet Lakeview Sandwich Shop

November 28 2009 - 9:59 PM

I've walked by this tiny sandwich shop near the corner of Sheffield and Wellington several times, and it looked appealing, though from the outside you would have thought the place was dead.  The sign outside said it had been open since 1994, usually a good sign but sometimes a result of restaurants that have came and gone and now are hanging on for dear life.

This little place  reminds me a little bit of Panera Bread, not just by name alone:  they bake their own bread, they make a variety of sandwiches and soups, and they even have murals of people baking bread.   I wondered at first if this place mirrored itself after Panera Bread, but then I did some research and found that in 1994 Panera Bread was just starting up from a regional St. Louis chain calle the St. Louis Bread Company.  So it begs the question:  did Panera lift their ideas from this little shop?

I tried the Oaxacan Pork, which was a pork tenderloin pounded thin, with carmelized onions, roasted red peppers and spicy mayonnaise.   It was delicious, on a hot homemade baguette, served with potato chips, and was well priced at $5.50.  My wife had a goat cheese pizza with basil and sundried tomatoes, also of reasonable cost for $4.95. 

For dessert I tried a white chocolate rice pudding, which was good, though it perhaps could have used a bit more chocolate flavor.   The homemade truffles my wife ordered, at 50 cents a piece, were outstanding, though.  Their Oaxacan Chocolate truffles were outstanding, and their peanut butter truffles were also very good.

I was sold the first time I visited this place.  Considering the quality of the ingredients, as well as value for money, this has to now be my favorite Lakeview sandwich place. 

Panes Bread Cafe

3002 North Sheffield