For years, Au Bon Pain has led the way in nutrition-related transparency. Over a decade ago, the east coast chain introduced in-store kiosks to allow diners to look up ingredients and nutritional information before making a purchase. In addition to the basics, the kiosks clearly display allergens and suitability for diners with different needs, from gluten-free to vegetarian to low-fat. While gluten-free eaters have been long able to enjoy select Au Bon Pain soups and salads, they have sadly been unable to indulge in the fast casual chain’s extensive selection of baked goods. That is, until recently. Introducing Au Bon Pain gluten-free bars!
Au Bon Pain: Gluten-Free Bars
Au Bon Pain offers two gluten-free bars: a fudge chunk brownie and a congo bar. Both are individually packaged, prominently labeled “gluten-free” on the front, and bear the logo of the Celiac Disease Foundation, of which Au Bon Pain is a supporter, on the back. The fudge chunk brownie is exactly as described: dense and fudgey with plenty of chocolate chunks. Its texture is more fudge-like than brownie-like, which is not a surprise given the top four ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, and bittersweet chocolate. In other words, this is a rich, indulgent treat!
Au Bon Pain’s congo bar is a great gluten-free adaptation of the graham-heavy classic. The gluten-free version includes coconut flour, dried coconut, marshmallow, and chocolate chips, to make one delicious bar. At $2.89 each, these make for a great once-in-awhile indulgence. They are the perfect size for sharing (or saving half for later), and we love that we can find almost anywhere on the east coast. Which is your favorite?
If you’re considering a visit to Au Bon Pain, the company’s website makes it easy to learn your options and plan ahead. Navigate to the menu and check the gluten-free box in the upper left corner. The gluten-free bars are available at many Au Bon Pain locations, either in the pastry case or near the cash register.