It's reduced-fat, alright?
Five long-awaited Starbucks breakfast sandwiches made their Canadian debut Tuesday along with a sleek reheating oven and a bouquet of store-filling reduced-fat food smells.
The hot breakfasts arrive after a grande deal of controversy as to whether they would make it past the test markets and appear north of the border at all.
The concern, according to Bucks CEO Howard D. Schultz, was that the smell of bacon and eggs would overpower the coffee aroma, and that the upscale facade would give way to a fast-food atmosphere. There is still confusion as to why the sandwiches even came out in Toronto, since they will now presumably be de-emphasized in the near future.
But on the launch date, the breakfast fragrance was the least of worries.
With the introduction of the sandwiches comes with the Starbucks oven – remember all the sandwiches, cookies and baked goods were made off-site. So, with brand new, presumably untested machinery behind the counter, the Starbucks local to the NOW offices had a full-scale breakdown. None of the sandwiches could be heated.
But the staff still served me the Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, Cholesterol-Free Egg, Reduced-Fat White Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich (what a mouthful!) (literally!) anyway. And, to be honest, I was grateful for it.
I often find myself eating coffee cakes and lemon loaves at Starbucks on busy days, even though I mostly detest paying $6 for a coffee and a piece of bread. So the sandwich, even when it had to be reheated in my office microwave, was a welcome addition to my in-a-hurry diet.
But comparing foods like Peppered Bacon, Egg and Aged Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich (which I tried on a recent trip to the U.S.) to lemon loaves isn’t very helpful. So here are the sandwich specifics on the Turkey Bacon one: the whole wheat English muffin was cardboard-esque, the cheese went down unnoticed and the egg was, as fast-food eggs often are, standard.
The ingredients – for all their adjectives (classic sausage, aged cheddar) – seem the same pre-cooked food stuffs all the other restaurants get, only with a slight, high-end twist. (In this case, my sandwich was dressed up with reduced-fat turkey bacon. The Eggs Florentine sandwich wears baby spinach as it's haute ingredient.)
The key to enjoying the sandwich, which I did, is to remember that it is the breakfast sandwich lite and not the meaty, greasy, full-fat competition. Overall, yes, a little flimsy. But always nice to contrast the buttery, fat-dripping alternative at Tim Hortons, the gooey, homogenous McMuffin at McDonald’s, and, of course, the lemon loaves.