Thursday, August 2, 2007

Starbucks Sandwiches

I like Starbucks, I'm not afraid to say it. That's right, you too-cool-for-school Starbucks haters, hear me roar! So that being said, I shall soldier onward...

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When it comes to most of the food at Starbucks, my motto is "Look, but don't touch." The pastries are notoriously high calorie and full of sugar and/or fat. Sure, I'll have the occasional treat (like the other day when Emilia and I indulged in their delicious chocolate cake doughnut. We had to get our energy up for a 4 mile hike!) but for an everyday snack, I usually look elsewhere.

However, Em and I recently noticed that Starbucks has started carrying a whole new line of fresher and healthier snack alternatives, including fresh fruit, various little salads, and SANDWICHES.

I must preface this by saying that for years I would answer the "What is your favorite food?" question with "Anything between two pieces of bread." I loooove me some sandwiches. Emilia does, too. They're my snack of choice and I'll eat them for any meal, though they have become first runner up to Miss Sushi since my recent trip to Japan. But rather than wax poetic about sandwiches here, I would like to spread the good word about two very decent and quite healthy sandwiches Emilia and I have been enjoying at the Bucks. (By the way, they don't talk about these sandwiches on their website, so we're not bothering to link to it, although you can check your Starbucks Card balance and stuff on there which is cool.)

In this corner...TURKEY FOCACCIA*: This sandwich, which features turkey, aioli, and roasted red peppers on focaccia bread, weighs in at 330 calories, which makes it perfect for a light lunch. It's great if you are craving a mayo-ey, basic turkey sandwich. The cheese is missed, but that's the price you pay for so few calories. I found the sandwich tasty and simple. The size is a bit on the small side, but it was filling enough. *: might not be its real name. Witness protection program?

And in this corner...LOW FAT TURKEY & ARTICHOKE. This sandwich, which is a bit larger than the previous one, contains "Hickory-smoked turkey breast with our mild tapenade of artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and herbs, topped with red bell pepper and spinach on Ciabatta." What you get is a dry-ish flour dusted Ciabatta, a decent sized stack of salty turkey cold cuts, and a very little bit of the other ingredients, making it a fair, plain turkey sandwich. However, at 190 calories, it is a real fast food find for those of us consciously looking out for our girlish figures, and makes a great snack. I just had one after running around on a busy day at the office and realizing I was starving and, oh look, 3 P.M. already! It filled me right up, did the job, and did not break the calorie bank.

For taste, I prefer the Turkey Focaccia because the aioli makes the sandwich moister and more flavorful. The Low Fat Turkey & Artichoke's advantage is clearly its low calorie content. Either one is a perfectly acceptable option for mid-day hunger. Neither is the best sandwich you've ever had, but as far as grabbing a quick bite to go, these humble fighters are pretty darn good. You can grab one on your coffee run and feel good that you made a good, healthy choice in the same three minutes that you grabbed your daily Jones.

E pluribus sandwich!


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