After a rough year, Starbucks has tried to start off 2009 on the right foot. In addition to rolling out a new line of instant coffee, it also began offering "value pairings" that include two new breakfast sandwich options. Considering the history of the chain's breakfast sandwiches, I was eager to try them out.
The Artisan Breakfast Sandwiches, as they're called, come on square-shaped, ciabatta-style rolls. The ham contains three slices of very thin black forest ham, mild cheddar, and a Parmesan egg frittata, while the bacon includes four short slices of smoked bacon, gouda cheese, and the same Parmesan egg frittata. To see what I thought of them, read more.
Last year, the coffee titan announced it would be modifying its breakfast sandwiches because customers were complaining that they gave off a pungent cheese smell that interfered with the aroma of coffee in stores. The egg layer, with its mixed-in Parmesan cheese, is the chain's solution to the aroma issue.
At less than 400 calories, and a price that won't empty your wallet ($3.95 for a sandwich and a tall coffee), the petite sandwiches aren't half bad.
I didn't mind the black forest ham and mild cheddar, although my palate was more suited for the bacon sandwich, with its thin, crispy strips of pork and überoozy gouda cheese. Although I love a good English muffin, I found myself preferring the new ciabatta rolls; they were more substantial and could stand up to the rest of the sandwich.
For a morning on the go — or when I'm craving breakfast as an afternoon snack — I would definitely order an artisan bacon sandwich to pair with my coffee. Have you tried one of Starbucks' new savory breakfast pairings? What did you think of the sandwiches?