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Starbucks Food/Pastry

GraceW Aug 9, 2012 11:27 AM

I have only ever purchased coffee there... and have never even considered their food. But while traveling, I noticed everyone was quite knowledgable about which breakfast and lunch items were good. It all looks very fake to me--like the plastic food you see in cafe-windows sometimes.

Fill me in... are any of the overpriced bakery/food items worth purchasing?

  1. b
    Berheenia Aug 14, 2012 06:30 AM

    My husband, who doesn't like their coffee, loves the reduced fat very berry coffee cake.
    I do like their coffee and will eat a breakfast sandwich there when I have an early morning meeting or errand but wish they had ketchup- the Boston area stores don't have any condiments. The bistro boxes are way overpriced which is too bad because I would buy them more often- they aren't a bad snack.

    1. l
      LindyCindy Aug 12, 2012 12:10 PM

      The maple scones are my favorite with the orange/cranberry running a close second.

      1. p
        phxjcc Aug 11, 2012 11:22 PM

        Sausage Sandwich - very good, better than McD's, but twice the price
        Bacon, Egg & Swiss - very good
        Donuts & Apple Fritters - depends upon the location, some are good and fresh others are dreadful, like--->I want my money back dreadful. Ditto the cookies.
        Denver metro used to have something called Colorado Crumb Cake in addition to the regular crumb cake. The CO crumb cake was definitely better and had no marzipan.
        My SO had the oatmeal and she liked it.

        1. HillJ Aug 11, 2012 08:16 PM

          When I was picking up a raspberry fruited tea I noticed SB already had slices of pumpkin bread in the case so I grabbed 4 for my husband. He loves their pumpkin bread.

          7 Replies
          1. re: HillJ
            Ariadanz Aug 11, 2012 09:05 PM

            I rather like their lemon pound cake, I resisted a slice of it yesterday in fact. The gingerbread is also pretty good, particularly if you get a slice with lots of candied orange peel on the frosting. The reduced fat berry coffeecake or whatever its called is decent also. My husband's favourite is the oatmeal cookie with cranberries and stuff in it, thats pretty much a meal if you combine it with a sugar-free fat-free latte.

            As for the other stuff, its not exactly world shattering, but when I'm traveling and I'm unsure of the quality of other options, or am stuck with rest stops, airports and what not I'm pretty happy to see a Starbucks and get one of their fruit and cheese plates etc.

            1. re: Ariadanz
              grandpamarian Aug 11, 2012 09:09 PM

              Hooked on the Morning Buns. And I'm not the only one; in my local Starbucks they tend to disappear early in the a.m.

              1. re: grandpamarian
                HillJ Aug 13, 2012 05:03 AM

                Do you have them warm the Morning Bun?

              2. re: Ariadanz
                HillJ Aug 13, 2012 05:03 AM

                Ariadanz, the stuff isn't world shattering, true. I can't wait to read/see/try the new pastry/baked goods lineup coming soon.

                1. re: HillJ
                  FattyDumplin Aug 13, 2012 09:08 AM

                  eh, if you're really into baked goods, I think you'll be disappointed. Out here in the bay area, Le Boulange has a very strong following and I supposed for a chain bakery, their stuff is pretty good. But compared to a high quality baker in any metropolitan area, I'd say their a significant notch below. I've only had a few things there, but nothing I've tried makes me ever want to go back. The "baguette" I had was dense, leaden, almost stale and lacked the light airy crisp crust coupled with a dense chewy interior that I love in baguettes.

                  1. re: FattyDumplin
                    HillJ Aug 13, 2012 09:13 AM

                    I'm super curious to see if the recipes will be altered in anyway. I've had Le B breads and a handful of baked goods and don't recall anything about them. Not a great sign. But on topic, I'm more curious to see what SB will do with it.

                    1. re: HillJ
                      FattyDumplin Aug 13, 2012 10:25 AM

                      Probably make it worse for mass distribution / longer shelf life :)

            2. l
              latindancer Aug 11, 2012 08:08 PM

              I love their maple oat scones. Just had one today, actually.

              1. p
                pine time Aug 10, 2012 02:09 PM

                Haven't been a fan of most of the pastries, except for the holiday Cranberry Bliss Bars (altho' my knockoff recipe is much cheaper). They do a nice chicken salad thyme sandwich, altho' it's pricey.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pine time
                  cheesymama Aug 11, 2012 06:52 PM

                  Can you post your knock off recipe? My Mom loves those things!

                  1. re: cheesymama
                    pine time Aug 12, 2012 08:06 AM

                    Here 'tis. There are various versions on the web, mostly with controversy re: orange zest or not. I've settled on this one:

                    For cake base:
                    1 c. butter, soft
                    1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
                    3 large eggs
                    1 tsp ground ginger
                    1 tsp vanilla
                    1/4 tsp salt
                    1 1/2 c flour
                    1/4 c minced dried cranberries
                    1/4 c Lindt or Perugina white chocolate, coarsely chopped
                    1/4 c minced candied ginger

                    For frosting:
                    4 oz cream cheese, soft
                    1 1/2 c powdered sugar
                    2 Tbl butter, soft
                    1 tsp vanilla

                    For Garnish:
                    2 Tbl minced dried cranberries
                    1/3 c white chocolate chips (Guittard or Ghiradelli)--melted

                    Oven to 350. Lightly butter 9 x 13 pan.
                    Beat butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla until fluffy. Sift flour, ginger, salt, add to butter/sugar, beating well. Stir in cranberries, chocolate and ginger. Spread in pan, bake 20-25 min.
                    Cool. Mix all frosting ingredients, spread thinly over base. Immediately sprinkle dried cranberries. With cake decorating bag or baggie with tiny edge cut off, drizzle melted chocolate over cake.
                    Cut into bars immediately (once drizzled chocolate hardens, cutting is too messy).
                    Eat. Smile.

                2. sbp Aug 10, 2012 01:51 PM

                  The maple-oat scones used to be great, but they pretty much don't carry them anymore. Their other scones are mostly awful. Overmixed dough, resulting in a bready, chewy texture.

                  1. pamf Aug 10, 2012 10:04 AM

                    That's likely to change next year. Starbucks acquired a small SF Bay Area chain back in June for the purpose of improving their pastry and food.


                    17 Replies
                    1. re: pamf
                      GraceW Aug 10, 2012 10:20 AM

                      WOWZERRS. That is a big change for a small chain.

                      1. re: GraceW
                        HillJ Aug 10, 2012 02:01 PM

                        Just read today they also acquired Square Mobile for all those new patries/beverage orders yet to come. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/a...

                        1. re: HillJ
                          steakman55 Aug 10, 2012 02:24 PM

                          No, they invested some cash into Square and Schultz was put on their board. Still in experimental phase, but they in no wise bought the company.

                          1. re: steakman55
                            HillJ Aug 10, 2012 02:27 PM

                            Read, Starbucks will invest $25 million. Some cash?

                            They just made a 25 million dollar investment in Square.
                            Are you suggesting easy come, easy go, steakman55?

                            1. re: HillJ
                              FattyDumplin Aug 11, 2012 08:49 PM

                              Yeah, but Square is probably valued at between $4 - 5bn. Pretty amazing for a company most people have never heard of, huh?

                              1. re: FattyDumplin
                                HillJ Aug 12, 2012 05:43 AM

                                It's the Twitter track record that made Square so yummy.

                              2. re: HillJ
                                ipsedixit Aug 11, 2012 11:24 PM

                                For Starbucks 25M is chump change. Basically a rounding error.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  HillJ Aug 12, 2012 05:36 AM

                                  A number of pals have worked or work for SB at the Mgt level. 25M is not chump change even for an implusive owner like Howard. SB has lost M's making decisions of one type or another...and the status of long term employment with them in the face of such random buys my pals often say.. hard to support. Let's just say they are willing to lose big $$ rather than take 2nd place at the table. Many lion's roar for less.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    FattyDumplin Aug 12, 2012 03:36 PM

                                    agreed. i think you have to give credit to Howard for being ahead of the curve. The Square tie-in is another example... it's really cool technology that threatens to take over the mobile payments arena and disintermediated a legacy player (Verifone) at SBUX. HS is definitely willing to look forward to the future and make a move that helps define it, rather than go with status quo.

                                    1. re: FattyDumplin
                                      HillJ Aug 13, 2012 05:00 AM

                                      Time will tell. SB makes yearly changes to its lineup out front and behind the counter. Hard to tell what the plan really is. Buying a pastry co. is a simple example of late too. SB has offered 6 approaches to their baked goods menu so far in the US. Are they just poor decision makers? Lousy supertasters? Only happy when they own an idea? Not really the right player for a baked goods business? Afraid of Panera Bread? I have no clue. But they have $$ to throw around.

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        FattyDumplin Aug 13, 2012 09:05 AM

                                        Yep. Clearly not every move has been a success. The food offerings being a pretty good example of where I feel they've failed. I find their current pastries pretty unenjoyable, tending to be overly sweet, not having the right texture for each type of pastry.

                                    2. re: HillJ
                                      ipsedixit Aug 12, 2012 08:53 PM

                                      I'm not talking about working at Starbucks.

                                      But only the cash flow of the company. According to its public financials, in 2011 it has 6.23B in gross income, and net income of 1.25B.

                                      25M is chump change.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        FattyDumplin Aug 12, 2012 09:06 PM

                                        ipse, you're right in that the investment in the technology and shifting to a newcomer to this space, as opposed to the incumbent, is a far bigger risk / potential cost than the $25mm cash.

                                        1. re: FattyDumplin
                                          HillJ Aug 13, 2012 04:35 AM

                                          ips, I only mention the employee perspective because that's where my exposure to the Co. comes from. A willingness to lose 25M here and 25M there doesn't change the history of SB. For whatever reason, SB is willing to lose $. 25M is just the latest announcement. Turn the dial back to the decisions SB has made over 20 years in store #'s, cafe redesigns, music sales, video, international, wine/beer, pastry, tecnology. Those big #'s you're flashing on one side of the spreadsheet sure look sexy. Now show me the spreadsheet with the M's lost on the other. Understood as a willingness to lose M's just to be in the games top spot.

                                          1. re: HillJ
                                            HillJ Aug 13, 2012 05:05 AM

                                            La Boulange Cafe & Bakery, the San Francisco bake shop known for its French pastries and sandwich menu, was sold for $100 million to Starbucks Coffee Co.

                                            Still chump change, ips?

                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              ipsedixit Aug 13, 2012 07:48 AM

                                              Still chump change, ips?


                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                HillJ Aug 13, 2012 07:51 AM


                        2. m
                          mpjmph Aug 10, 2012 08:27 AM

                          I find the low/reduced fat baked goods have an overwhelming banana flavor, I assume from the use of mashed bananas in place of oil. Otherwise, the cakes and cookies are no better or worse than baked good at other chain coffee shops.

                          1. boogiebaby Aug 10, 2012 07:52 AM

                            I like the susage egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. The turkey bacon one is lowfat and not bad either. They used to carry a greek style chicken pasta salad that was good - I used to get it sometimes. I work in an area with few restaurants, so if I didn't bring lunch from home, I'd sometimes pick up the salad and a coffee.

                            1. roxlet Aug 9, 2012 03:42 PM

                              My son swears by the lemon pound cake, which, with a latte, is his morning pre-tournament match breakfast.

                              1. cookie monster Aug 9, 2012 03:18 PM

                                I really like the turkey bacon breakfast sandwich and the spinach feta wrap. I usually don't want sweet things in the morning, and those are savory and filling and relatively healthy (and a fair deal imho at $3 or $3.50).

                                The quality of the baked goods varies from store to store depending on the local supplier.

                                The packaged sandwiches, fruit and cheese plate, etc. will do in a pinch but I do think those are overpriced for what you get.

                                1. s
                                  sr44 Aug 9, 2012 03:06 PM

                                  I've bought a cookie or 2 on impulse, and they were sufficiently dreary that I'm no longer tempted by them. On the other hand, I've enjoyed many cinnamon scones.

                                  1. f
                                    ferret Aug 9, 2012 03:02 PM

                                    It's as good as anything made in a central commissary would be. It serves its purposes, namely if you're in there already for coffee and feel a pang of hunger then you don't have to make another stop elsewhere. However, I've never said "wow, I'm really in the mood for a Starbucks ____!"

                                    So as to whether it's worth it - not from my perspective. But if you're there and hungry then you won't find it offensive.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ferret
                                      coll Aug 12, 2012 08:23 AM

                                      Last I heard, they were getting all their baked goods made for them by Sara Lee....who does do some upscale frozen goodies. Maybe it as a trial to see how it went, as I see now they may be looking into making them themselves?

                                    2. Bob W Aug 9, 2012 02:56 PM

                                      the muffins and scones are around $2.25. The bagels are $1.25. They are not overpriced.

                                      Same for the morning buns and Mallorca sweet bread, both $1.95.

                                      The baked goods aren't what you think look plastic, I'm assuming. For two bucks you get some fairly tasty and filling carbs.

                                      The lunch combos do seem overpriced to me.

                                      1. viperlush Aug 9, 2012 12:07 PM

                                        I don't know about the stuff wrapped in plastic, but the baked items will sometimes have a coffee smell/flavor to them. At rest stops I'll sometimes grab a trio of vanilla scones,or a blueberry, or a slice of lemon pound cake when I want a snack to go with a coffee I don't think that they are worth purchasing if you have other options, but they aren't horrible.

                                        1. juliejulez Aug 9, 2012 12:05 PM

                                          I like their breakfast sandwiches. They're basically glorified McDonald's McMuffins, but the ingredients they use are tasty and at least *seem* more healthy than McDonald's haha.

                                          I've tried a number of other things, but it's so hit and miss... some of it could have been sitting there for awhile so it's a little stale.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: juliejulez
                                            rockandroller1 Aug 10, 2012 07:03 AM

                                            The baked items are, IMO, horrible. Like something from the grocery store. But I agree the breakfast sandwiches can be damed good.

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