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Jun 27, 2013 03:38 PM

Starbucks + La Boulange [moved from San Francisco board]

I know I'm not supposed to admit to drinking anything but pour-over coffee, but sometimes I can't wait 20 minutes and I need to use my credit card. So can we talk about the new La Boulange offerings at Starbucks? The stuff is even staler than before the merger, and now some poor barista has to take my fossilized cheese danish/croissant/whatever out of a little plastic baggie and try to fluff it up in the oven. Is this really the plan? I thought the whole point was to get fresh, decent baked goods into Starbucks.

Am I crazy? Has anyone else had the same experience? The pink takeaway bag reminds me of La Boulange but the product itself does not.

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  1. Not crazy. I had a croissant from there a couple of weeks ago, and it was dreadful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Maybe the goal was not actually to improve the food? Maybe it's just cheaper for them or something? But I fell for the marketing blitz so I'm surprised.

      [My croissant never ever looks like this croissant. Which is particularly disappointing because the ones at the actual La Boulange stores do.]

    2. I am rather fond of the chocolate banana swirl (which La Boulange doesn't carry), but consistency has been a problem. It can be really good warmed up and very flakey. About 70% of the time, it's soggy, and once they didn't heat it up at all.

      1. Near the beginning of the combo, I ordered a croissant, and the barista said "that'll be just a minute while we toast it for you" and I said "no, that's okay." And he looked at me grimly and said "We're supposed to heat everything up now."

        1 Reply
        1. re: Katie80

          Yep! That's his job now, and he'll get a corrective action if he asks you whether you want it warmed or not. Do yourself (and him) a favor and just ask for it cold next time.

        2. I'm in agreement. Plus the items seem smaller. I recently got a La Boulange cheese danish at the SBs in Strawberry before a trip to Pacific Grove. In Pacific Grove, I had a non-LB cheese danish at the local SB (guess they haven't all changed over yet), and it was definitely bigger. As the old joke goes: the food is so bad, and the portions are so small!

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            1. The real answer is that La Boulange pastries just aren't very good. I've only had a few items in the past from the Palo Alto shop, and that's only because I was forced to by co-workers. I thought everything I've had there sucked, none more so than their leaden baguettes. Now that Paris Baguette has opened up on the same street, I've managed to never go back to LB.

              1. re: FattyDumplin

                >The real answer is that La Boulange pastries just aren't very good.<

                I definitely agree. They used to be good, but not now. In the past year I had a chocolate croissant and a sandwich (can't remember what kind), on two different visits to La Boulange in Mill Valley (Strawberry). The croissant was terrible and the sandwich was of the where's-the-beef type. They've seen the last of me.