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!

Food Notes

  • There’s a new restaurant on the block: Twisted Fork (11162 82 Avenue, (780) 761-3675) was reviewed by See Magazine last week.
  • It seems the space that housed the historic Silk Hat is due to be revitalized again. There have been help wanted ads in Vue Weekly for The Hat Resto-Pub. I wonder why they chose the word “resto-pub” instead of the more trendy and current “gastropub”?
  • Sorrentino’s annual and very popular Mushroom Harvest is on September 1-30. Just don’t make the mistake I did last year and call to make sure the location you’re heading to is actually offering the special dishes that day.
  • My sister (a Sobeys employee) let me know that Sobeys is unleashing their own version of a membership card in September called ClubSobeys. Points accumulated can be redeemed as cash discounts towards future purchases or as Aeroplan Miles – score one for Sobeys!
  • I was disappointed to see that Aaron McCargo Jr. won this season of The Next Food Network Star. I was cheering for Lisa Garza, a master of entertaining, but given her panache for fashion and her cooking style, Giada de Laurentiis may have vetoed her win.
  • Mack and I tried a classic sausage and egg Starbucks breakfast sandwich while in Vancouver on the weekend. It was ready in no time and piping hot to boot, but I didn’t get a chance to see how they warmed it. I have to agree with Mack – it is a far cry from the similar sandwiches available at McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s, but as they are available all day, and are cheaper than the $5.95 sandwiches in the cooler, I can see why some people would opt for the eggy treat.

Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich

I see cups of red…

Besides the return of such classics like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” on the airways, another holiday staple I eagerly await involves Starbucks’ Holiday Trio. More than the Gingerbread Latte (my favorite of the three) however, I am looking forward to the seasonal “red cup”. Last year, their “red cups” recreated conventional yuletide scenes, encouraging the association between warm fuzzies and Starbucks. Yes, it worked on me; I’m a sap.

I stumbled across a Starbucks Gossip blog, which included the tidbit that their holiday campaign will begin on November 9, at least in the States. The yet-to-function seasonal site address is pegged to be

The Starbucks blog, who’s self-proclaimed role is “monitoring America’s favorite drug dealer,” contains quite the cornucopia of information. Any articles written about the coffee giant are linked to and discussed. Two stories from the month of October that intrigued me:

  • Champagne with your coffee? A couple hold their wedding reception at a Starbucks (hm, not a bad idea…)
  • Out out, cheap patron! The debate over the so-called “ghetto latte” (I think I’m a Starbucks snob – frugal customers should go elsewhere for their iced latte fix. If you’re at Starbucks, you should be prepared to pay a premium for the quality, service, and atmosphere).