Sunday, March 27, 2011

Panera Bread Company and Mean Kitty

Last night I wanted to just go get something to eat instead of trying to find some dinner ingredients in the freezer. I had made an extra healthy dinner the night before, with baked bbq chicken breasts, baked acorn squash, sauteed yellow squash, zucchini, and carrots, and even some grapes and pear slices for dessert. That kind of used up my culinary skills for the rest of the weekend, so...where do we want to go eat that won't be too crowded and has halfway healthy food? We were going to go to California Pizza Kitchen because they have some good sounding salads on the menu, but I remembered seeing the Panera Bread Company down by the new Target store and had read on the internet that they have a somewhat healthy menu. Also we wouldn't have to leave a tip or wait too long for the food to come.

The restaurant is like upscale fast food/sandwich shop and I was very impressed by the ambiance and general spaciousness and look of the place. When you first walk in you see the bakery goods, breads, bagels, cookies and the like and they all looked absolutely delicious, especially when you haven't had bread in months and months. The sandwich and salad menu all looked good, the sandwiches are the panini style and they have like five salads to choose from. I ordered the bbq chicken salad and Keith got some kind of steak and cheese sandwich and a bowl of broccoli soup (gag), we ordered an iced tea for me and a chai tea for him, and then also got a strawberry scone and a shortbread cookie. The total came to $31.00. Yikes! That's quite a steep bill for a sandwich shop, about the same price as it would have been to go to a sit down restaurant actually.

The food is served on real plates with real utensils and it was ready very quickly, but the sandwich was just a sandwich and the salad was just a salad. You do get a choice of a baquette, chips, or an apple with your salad or sandwich, why you'd want a baquette on top of your sandwich, I don't know, but I got the apple, thinking maybe it would come sliced up or something, but you just get an apple sitting there.

I had a bite of the strawberry scone which was wonderful and the shortbread cookie was good, too, but I don't think I'd go there again for the food. Way too expensive for what you get. It might be a good place for a cup of coffee and a treat in the morning, but that's about it. And seeing as it's quite a ways down the road from us, I don't think we'd make an effort to drive all the way over there again any time soon.

Now, Miss Mean Kitty, aka Lucy, is still with us so far, but if she doesn't shape up soon, her days are definitely numbered. We haven't been able to find any place other than the pound that will take cats and Keith didn't want to take her there and then have the extreme guilt weighing on him all week while he's trying to train for the new job. I would feel totally horrible knowing that she's stuck in a cage scared and confused, too, so we are trying to work with her and keep the other cats from getting even more stressed than they have been.

I went back to the pet store because I had remembered seeing some kind of 'happy cat' stuff that you put in their water that is supposed to help calm them down. I found this all natural bottle of Good Cat that you mix with the water. Buddy was lapping it up but I've been having a hard time getting Lucy to drink it, she prefers drinking straight from the tap. It's got a little alcohol in it, so I'm thinking that it just gets the cat drunk and then you hope you have a happy drunk cat instead of a mean drunk cat, the way people are divided into happy drunks and mean drunks. I also found another brand of all natural pheromone spray that has like five times as much in the bottle for only $12.99. The tiny bottle of the Feliway cost like $25.00. So, I'm liberally spraying the cheaper stuff all over the house twice a day.

Harri has been brave enough to come out of the bedroom a few times and Lucy hasn't bothered her until this morning when she growled at her and I immediately sprayed her with the water bottle. Bear is finally out from under the bed but will sit in the bedroom doorway looking down the hall, too afraid to venture forth into the living room. Lucy makes that weird not a growl but a distress type noise every time she sees Bear, though, and then Bear gets freaked out and ducks back into the bedroom. Mimi very cautiously comes down the hallway, cowering if she sees Lucy, and Lucy growled at her last night and almost attacked her. We keep Harri, Bear, and Mimi in the bedroom with us at night and shut the doors so they feel safe.

We'll give her a few more weeks and see how it goes.

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