The Ovens Have Landed: Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich Report

I was pretty excited when I saw that ovens were appearing in Starbucks locations across the city in March. While I knew I wouldn’t indulge in their sandwich offerings all that often (especially not having the time to stop in on my way to work in the mornings), I was looking forward to having the option of something more than cold pastries.

Mack and I had tried a sausage and egg sandwich while in Vancouver last year, and found it to be a sub-par cousin of the breakfast sandwiches offered at both McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s. However, we were eager to give it a second try on home soil. I would have loved to have been able to sample a free sandwich at the South Point location on Thursday, but we ended up walking to the Empire Building location that night for a quick bite before the RISE Celebration at the Citadel (the sandwiches are available until 90 minutes before closing).

All at $3.95, we had the choice of:

  • Classic sausage, egg & cheddar
  • Black forest ham, egg & cheddar
  • Peppered bacon, egg & cheddar
  • Reduced-fat bacon-style turkey with cholesterol free egg patty & reduced fat white cheddar
  • Spinach feta wrap with egg and roasted tomato

I opted for the sausage option, while Mack succumbed to the thought of having bacon for supper. We watched the barista unwrap our sandwiches and place them individually in the oven. When they were ready, they were transferred into a white paper bag with a seal that read “Great coffee deserves great food”.

Seal of Starbucks’ approval

I remember reading something a few months back about how Starbucks had to engineer their sandwich in a way that would make it virtually odourless, so the warming and consuming of them would not overpower the recognizable coffee aroma in its stores. I have to say they accomplished this feat with flying colours – the sandwich gave off nearly no smell – something a little scary when considering its main egg component. Mack liked the fact that the bread shell was not greasy at all, making it a less messy meal. I was disappointed with the sausage patty – it was chewy and lacked any real flavour, two things that are not surprising considering how it was prepared.

Sausage, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich

Peppered Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich

While I can’t say I won’t be sampling their other sandwich varieties, I think it’s safe to say that both Mack and I would choose our homemade egg sandwiches in a heartbeat. The ovens can also be used to heat up their other food items, though (Empire, for example, had a sign that said cookies could be heated up until 6:30pm), so we may find that the ovens are useful yet!

3 thoughts on “The Ovens Have Landed: Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich Report

  1. I’m glad you had a chance to sample them. I was unaware of the “smell” topic, but it makes sense (they wouldn’t want it to overwhelm the coffee).

    I can see how they have some staying power – pretty low overheard with frozen items. They won’t have to assemble, bake, or throw out meat that has been sitting for 20+ minutes. But will anyone miss the made-to-order quality found elsewhere? They say the breakfast market is the fastest growing sector of the day, so maybe there is enough room for everyone at this rate.

    I agree. Homemade FTW!

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