Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Missing Generic Californianess

When you live in California, you typically don't pay attention to the ubiquitous corporate chain stores that pepper the landscape and fill up California's quintessential strip malls. Therefore, Californians usually don't realize the value of these stores until they move to another state and become "ex-Californians."

Taste Memory reminded me a few days ago that one of these invaluable stores was
Trader Joe's.

I reminded myself that another such store is
Panera Bread.

Oh how I lust for Panera Bread's blistered artisan cheese bread (kneaded with and decoratively sprinkled with Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese)! Also, I dream of their crisp, flaky, and golden brown pastries, as they grace my lips.

Therefore, I am posting this open (and genuine) plea to Trader Joe's and Panera Bread: Please help Louisiana rebuild and open a store right next to my home!


  1. Hay Passionate Eater,

    I also recently moved here (to New Orleans) from Valencia, CA! I too missed Panera Bread, however, la Madeleine's gives you a similar experience (with just a touch of generic). I stopped there this morning on the way to work for a nice flaky butter croissant just as I would in Cali!! I heard that we may see either Panera or Corner Bakery Cafe coming soon in the Mandeville/Covington area!!

  2. I'm from SF, Cali and have been reading your blog for a while now. LOVE IT! I don't know WHAT I would do without Trader Joe's! I really hope they keep opening new stores around the country because I know how many people love them too! Hopefully Panera Bread will do the same. :)

  3. I miss TJ sooo much. Used to get all my goodies there. I do have a Panera nearby, but don't go often enough...

  4. Huh, I never even heard of Panera Bread. But I guess it's mostly in the Peninsula and East Bay. You're right, in San Francisco I can just visit Boulangerie or Tartine Bakery. How said I would be if I didn't have the chance to visit them.

  5. Oh, I meant to say "how sad" I would be. I saids it all the time.

  6. You are sooo right about the 'generic Califness'

    As my junk food freak part is totally missing:
    - In N' Out
    - Jack in the Box (fried tacos)
    - Yoshinoya Beef Bowl (soCal)
    - California Pizza Kitchen (left over from my LA days)
    *isn't all the above really gross? but soooo gooood ;-)

    Yes, and then when i am trying to be healthy + feeling a bit cultured, YES Trader Joes and Panera Bread!

    There is a PB in Fla/but dunno what happen when in got here........absolutely NOT the same.

    Thanks for the mention ~ you are sweet! What a nice surprise as it made my day ((( hugs )))

    We're just gonna hav to head over SF often. Am dying to go to the Mission Dist + Ferry bld. Farmer's Mkt ;-)

  7. Yeah. Hmmm. What are you talking about? I lived through desperate and tough times here in London way before we had celebrity chefs, in the '70s. A pork pie and prawn flavoured crisps were downright gourmet!
    I suppose I miss Tex-Mex food. Definitely not the same here. But we have some wonderful and amazing Indian food in the UK.

  8. Wow, Anonymous, thank you! I will definitely check La Madeleine's out! Glad to hear from you!

    It is definitely hard to live without Trader JoesCookie, Steamy Kitchen, but I will have to find an alternative place to purchase great hummus.

    The only reason I know about Panera Bread is because my sister lives in the South Bay, right next to one. It is definitely not a San Francisco "treat," but a South Bay "treat," Chef Ben!

    You and I are on the same wavelength Taste Memory, I had just written a past about California Pizza Kitchen! And it is crazy how little people from the East Coast know about Jack in the Box. I also adore In n' Out. You have great taste Taste Memory!

    Melinda, that is one thing that I dream about night, day, and night again--"Tex Mex." I did hear from someone that the great Indian in the U.K. mildly helps with the absence of Tex Mex because of the similar spiciness.

  9. I used to go to Panera all the time when I lived in Atlanta! I thought there weren't any in LA until I saw one out in the valley somewhere (I think). It's a great lunch spot for a cheap sandwich/soup combo, I wish there was one near my office.

  10. I hear ya! Everything in Columbus is so far away from me. Trader Joe's is 20 mins away, Whole Foods and Costco 30 mins away, In-N-Out 28 HOURS away! lol. In Orange County, I used to have all of these only 5 minutes away =(

    At least Panera is only 5 minutes away from me... =|


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