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April 04, 2005

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Comments

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Gary

Truer words have never been spoken! Their food is the driest stuff I have ever ate. Of course we have an Atlanta Bread Company here and they are the same way. The local coffee shops have a let up in this area, no doubt about it.

Jill

I'm glad a food critic is writing about this! Oh how I wish they had decent pastries...

shift for starbucks

OK I'll admit some of our food isn't so great but for the most part I'm pleased with what we offer. Most of the time when food is dried out it is because it has been there all day. OUr lemon, marble and banana loaves are all very moist when they are first open but by the end of the day the top layer of the loaves are dry due to exposure to air. Bottom line the earlier you get it the better it is common sense. We have some people who come to our store ONLY to get pastries. So obviously we are doing something alright.

ignorant.food.eater

I must have no palate because I generally really like the baked goods at starbucks. I've tried the seven layer bar, espresso brownie, and muffins (cranberry-orange and black bottom). they're delicious!

teenoncrack

i've never tried the food cause like i only go there for the coffee. my comment: if you dont like it, dont eat it. so simple. or then again you can bitch and whine at some blog that has no affiliation with starbucks.

TW

In eliminating foods from my diet that caused flares of a medical condition, I figured out that Starbucks pastries were on the no-no list. I first thought it was just say cheese danishes. I did adore their cheese danishes...after I took them home and thaw them in the microwave-part of their food issue no doubt is that they are always REALLY COLD...and of course "no we don't have a microwave." But no, it definitely is NOT a cheese danish thing and IS a Starbuck's pastry thing. Haven't figured out why but it definitely is a slam dunk cause and effect.

Maybe bad pastry is Starbuck's way of protecting themselves against obesity lawsuits? Because if you have a pastry and a coffee...
More likely it is because of the uniformity of bad pastry across the U.S. in all venues. What I wouldn't do for a nice loaf of french bread in most of the places I have called home!

kellan

Peet's offerings are much more varied because they make a point of buying local pastries, rather then a centralized standard. The Peet's here in Boston offers excellent pastries.

Kent

I agree completly. I have wondered that for a long time. Every time I am looking at the refrigerated (for gods sake) pastries, I think to myself, "hmm why don't I just rummage around in the garbage for a cardboard box, bigger in flavor lesser in fat and calories."

melina

Yay San Diego Union-Tribune! w00t! I *heart* my hometown...Okay, sorry.

Thank you, Maureen Clancy, for saying what I've been thinking and tasting for some time now.
However, I disagree with the her take on the low-fat blueberry coffee cake. Everytime I've ordered it within the last month, it's been moist and delicious.

Boston Starbucks Rebel

First of all the woman should do her research on Starbucks pastries. Being from Boston I was personally offended by her comments about the muffin that she obviously got at Logan International Airport. All Starbucks baristas know that airport Starbucks are actually fake Starbucks. Also, the pastry she bought in las Vegas was also another fake Starbucks because most of those Starbucks are run by hotel employees and not real Starbucks baristas. Therefore, those Starbucks usually fail to adhere to all Starbucks standards concerning everything from beverage quality to food handling standards. Also, most fake stores do not flip their pastry cases at the proper time which is between 12-1 PM each day. Also, some Starbucks fail to mark the correct date when to throw away pastries. All AM Starbucks pastries are supposed to be removed from the case on the same day in which they were delivered. I suppose if that person really wanted to they could open their own little coffee shop, opppps wait they can't because Starbucks will put them out of business possibly. Also, a variety of the Starbucks pastries which were listed are those sold at fake Starbucks and not sold on a national level. There are certain core pastries offered by Starbucks and in fact only a few were mentioned in her stories. If she has a problem with the pastries she should either inform the management at that fake Starbucks or write a letter to Seattle.

susannah

Everything in Starbucks has way too many calories/fat grams to eat if it's not absolutely succulent. And sometimes they are--a friend and I split the 7-layer bar the other day and I could have died of happiness. But a dry danish? Fuggedaboutit.

Lost Vegan

Boston, I'll be glad to tell my local baristas that they are "fake" because they live and work in Las Vegas. There are more Starbucks in neighborhoods around the city than in the casinos. (Yes, we have neighborhoods.) And the scones are just as bone-dry in the "real" stores. I used to get a scone every day when I lived in Los Angeles, so they aren't bad everywhere. But however and whenever they get shipped in, they could do a better job of making sure they're fresh.

Hey Boston

I would think and research before you talk.

I have to say that you know enough about SBUX standards to be an OK Barista but you need some further training to get a better basis on what you should be doing with pastries. The flip is between 10 and 2 not 12 to 1 and it is only when things like scones and muffins (true breakfast items) should be removed from teh case of heavily consolidated and be replaced by evening desserts.

As for airport and hotel SBUX. They get the same food we do. Sorry to burst your bubble about pastries but they ahve the same standards.

Boston Starbucks Rebel

There is a pastry flip in the late morning but all AM pastries must be removed by 1 PM replaced by the necessary PM pastries. The Siren's Eye is quite particular for proper execution of pastry display in the case. In many company operated store this pastry flip does not occur. Yes, airport Starbucks do receive many of the same pastries as company-operated stores and yes they do have to adhere to the same food standards but in many cases it is not implemeneted.

shift for starbucks

I thought (and I could be wrong) that scones are supposed to be dry biscuit like pastries. The only scone we have that aren't very dry are the pumpkin ones and we had some cranberry orange ones that weren't too dry either. The muffins are really tasty the loaves are too, I'm not a huge fan of chocolate so most of the "chocolate decadence" pastries aren't to my taste but people who do like chocolate rave about them. Common sense would lead you to know that if you leave something out, exposed to air it is going to get dry. At our store we layer the loaves with pastry sheets so only the top of the stacks of loaves is exoped and gets dry, we then sell the ones below. Rarely do customers complain about our pastries. If anyone has a better idea of how to do things write the company.

Capt Barista

Lol, if you look at the stuff this article recommends you eat if you must eat at starbucks, they are the absolute worst ones that we sell!

Blaine

When I was a student I used to live near a bakery in Boston and I got to know what fresh coissants (and day-old croissants)tasted like. Years later I began to stop at a Starbucks on my way to work. The croissants were day-old virtually every time I stopped. I was also very offended by the way the manager treated her staff. After four months of this, I finally called the Starbucks office and complained about the treatment of staff and quality of food. They took my complaint seriously. Many months after that I went to the same Starbucks. The owner wasn't there and the croissants were fresh. I started talking to one of the staff (it was a slow time of day) and she said the manager wasn't there anymore. I said I was glad she was gone and then told her I'd complained to the main office about her. The woman's eyes got big and she said, "That was YOU?"

I'm not sure what happened to the manager. I'm just glad the food is better now. The staff seems better off, too.

Stannous

I have never been to a *$ so I have no idea how the pastries are displayed but when I ran a cafe in Albuquerque (where it is very dry), I kept our pastries moist by putting half of an apple under the pastry covers. These would be placed with the cut face away from the viewing public and would be replaced with every shift change. It worked quite well and I am certain a potato would work as well.

Boston Starbucks Rebel

Hey thats cool, getting a Starbucks manager fired. Too bad I haven't done that, opppps I have to several managers. All were guilty as charged mind you so Starbucks and the customers are better off now at least.

dee

I wish they had more healthy options but that doesn't seem to sell. The Sbux I go to always has the best pastries ever, and they sell out of quite a few of the varieties before I get there at 10am. Lemon loaf, chocolate loaf, banana nut muffins all are very moist and delicious!

Bakery owner

My wife and I run a small neighborhood bakery. We make everything from scratch. Few bakeries do this. One way to make things taste "fresh" and "moist" is to add vegetable oil instead of butter to the baked goods when you're baking them. There are also a slew of products you can put in/on baked items to keep them looking and tasting fresh even though they were baked ages ago. Mold retardants and other things are typical additives.

That said, some items freeze very well and will still taste good when thawed without the need for all the crap and additives. Ask before you eat.

Partner 1139XXX

So as a bakery owner you add vegatable oil instead of butter? I must make a note not to come to your bakery...

That said, I've sat down with the 'pastry book' (which contains sensitive information and isn't for customer's eyes) and I must admit that most of the ingredients were wholesome...not really healthy...but not a lot of preservatives either.

Good or bad, Starbucks pastries are on the fresh end of things. In large urban areas they are baked the day before and then shipped out over the night. In more remote areas the pastries are frozen and then shipped weekly...

Angie

To those complaining about pastries and such at Starbucks might I suggest you try a muffin, scones are dry - they are what they are, muffins are very moist - you can also ask for one not out yet, see if they have any 'in back' - for lower calorie choices many starbucks around the country offer fruit and healthier choices - it never hurts to request for healthier alternatives from the corporate offices in Seattle - sugar free products made w/Splenda - things like that if thats what your preference is - Addittionally there arent any 'fake' Starbucks - they are franchises for a lack of better words and operate as indentical to the non-frachise stores as possible, if you are finding severe discrepencies I recommend reporting them to the Corporate office in Seattle as well - as far as frauding the system by pretending to be a partner to get a discount, I dont recommend it - there is proof required and you'll only embarrass yourself most likely.

Um, our pastries are amazing. Especially the coffee cake.

Bakery owner

No, no, no. We don't add oil to our stuff to make it last for centuries. I should have pointed that out. I'd venture to say that 80 - 90% of bakeries do, however. And if you're eating anything out of a vending machine I'll guarantee it.

Thinksdifferent

I've never had a bad pastry from starbucks. The only thing there that's dry is the bread on some of the sandwhiches. It crumbles and breaks apart way too easy...

melina

cool new look! the top frame takes a little long to load on a crappy dial-up like i still have, but the colours and the graphic itself is nice.

Amy Alkon

I am a fan of Starbucks, and I go there about twice a week, but in my experience (over the years and across the country), their pastries taste like particleboard. They're also far too huge.

I think part of the problem is that they are required to refrigerate them; then again, I'm no pastry expert -- perhaps a baker can weigh in on that. And, compare a great French croissant (or one from a good patisserie in America) -- it'll be MUCH lighter and flakier than a Starbucks croissant, and it'll have a buttery taste Starbucks croissants don't.

I usually get a glazed donut on my way to Starbucks so I won't have to eat their pastries -- unless I'm going in the afternoon and just want some desert. I do like some of their brownies and desserts...had the blueberry cobbler thingie there yesterday afternoon. But, the apple-filled danish, Mack truck-sized cinnamon rolls (hello, are we feeing a family of five?), croissants, and the rest are just dreadful.

And, remember, I like Starbucks, and I'd like to eat a pastry while I'm there -- but I only do it if I'm about to keel over from hunger.

BaristaBee

What *$ aims for-above most everything else-is consistency, and I think that's why the pastries are so immemorable. Most of the morning pastries (muffins, loaves, scones, danishes, etc) come "fresh," but they come at who knows what time of night and are sitting ready for the openers. Everything else comes on weekly trucks and are processed and pre-packaged. Some of them are good for a bite or two, but I always lose interest in something after I've tasted it a couple of times.

After working in a small coffee shop that ordered fresh pastries from a down-the-street bakery, I am very disappointed in just about everything we sell, food-wise. Most Americans are sadly used to processed and prepackaged foods, but the pastries really are sub-standard. *$ could remedy this by taking its own idealistic vision of itself-which is local, communnity, "uncompromising"-and apply it to each separate store by allowing Mgrs/DMs to choose their pastry suppliers. There is Quality, and there is Quantity, and when you're speaking of a company of this monstrous magnitude, never the twain shall meet.

Jessica

It depends where, and what Starbucks you go to. For instance, Canadian Starbucks' have completely different pastries and suppliers than the US stores. Plus, the Canadian stores aren't allowed to refridgerate certain pastries (so they don't dry out). I work for Starbucks, and I do agree some of the pastries (especially in the states) are gross.

yay starbucks. they have moist scones- oat maple is the best

Suebob

I agree about the terrible Starbuck's pastries but disagree about Peet's. I find Peet's to be very good.

What are those dust balls that Starbuck's calls scones? They are just ridiculous.

Bay Area resident

Pastries at Starbucks in the San Francisco Bay Area are so-so: the lemon-zucchini muffins are usually moist and flavorful and the pound cakes are OK, but the scones have always tasted dry and bland, and they're covered with sugary (but flavorless) glaze. They had strawberry scones last year that were just vile, it was like eating a jar of artificial strawberry glaze with sugar on top. Bleah.

The low-fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake also tastes too sweet, and the low-fat blueberry coffee cake has a nasty fake orange flavor, like baby aspirin - very unappetizing!

I loved the almond-blueberry coffee cake but they no longer sell it (it was replaced with the blueberry-aspirin cake). :-(

Peet's, on the other hand, has really excellent baked goods - very good texture and taste. They also offer a wider range of sweet and savory flavors. I'm especially fond of the summer fruit bars, peach-blackberry scones, almond croissants and rosemary rolls.

Mary W

I have to say I've tasted scones from everywhere , allover and every kind of bakery. The only consistently good scone has been from Starbucks. If you go to a small kiosk type one at an airport or mall, they will not be as good as the ones made daily that you get from the regular Starbucks locations. But I've yet to find a tastier, or more moist scone anywhere. If anyone knows where to get better ones or has a recipe I'd be interested...
thanks
Mary W

Flan Lady

I like Starbucks' pastries, though some cana be pricey. I would love to submit a recepe I have for a Flan to die for. I am sure they will love it. Does anyone have any ideas how I can do this? Please e-mail me at bebemosher@hotmail.com if you know of anything. Thanks.

Dave

Why does the Starbucks website not include nutritional info for everything? Some items have been avaailable for a year and are still unlisted.

Jaceyn

what's the name of that bar? not the seven layer bar but the one with the caramel and (hazel?)nuts and the peanut butter mouse tasting stuff?
ANYBODY? it sells for $2.48. and YES the chocolate cake/bread on it is somewhat stale, as are the wafers, but it adds to the decadence of the little sultry treat! mmmmmmmm...

Jaceyn, I think you're referring to the Peanut Butter Stack.

kona

Cold pastries and lukewarm coffee?

My wife and I recently went to a nearby new Starbucks for coffee and pastry. When I asked them to warm the pastry they said they had no microwave!!! I made it partway through the pastry before the coldness of the item made it simply unpalatable. Also, by then my coffee needed to be zapped "microwaved" to bring the temperature back up.
Question: Is "no microwave" a policy only at our local Starbucks or is it a new company-wide policy.
No warm pasties = far fewer trips to Starbucks.

Sharon Mead

I'm not a HUGE fan of STARBUCKS but I'd be a liar if I said that I don't go there often. The beans are WAY over roasted. And yet, it's just too EASY. STARBUCKS cafes are everywhere. I will say that when I am in Europe on business, ITALY especially, I won't go near a STARBUCKS.
As for the pastries, 75% of these muffins, cakes and treats are made with (one) very-offensive smelling product. I don't know what it is but the STARBUCKS I frequent here in CA reeks of this smell. I don't know what it's the oil or some random preservative. I do know that after I eat the muffins, I actually "burp" the smell of this product for hours after. In fact, the taste/smell is so intense that I can smell it in my bosses office after he's eaten something from STARBUCKS. It's really disgusting and I have stopped getting pastries there. In fact, one morning, a guy in line with me asked the Barista why it always smells like a "porto-potty" in these places? I had to laugh, because several people were agreeing and he'd hit it right on! It's in the pastries - not a broken sewer-line.

leticia

1.I agree most of the pastries are stale.
but they use to have a delicous apple pie with cranberries and apricot and i was told they will no longer be selling it anyone know where they were purchasing it.
2.I dont my paying the high price for a great cup of coffie, but i hate to pay for new employees to practice making coffie at my expense.

A scone is supposed to be dry. This was such an insipid article.

Jeremy

Quit eating pastries you pigs. Geesh nothing worse then a bunch of fat people complaining about a ten thousand calorie pastry.

Summer in Seattle

Amy - I laughed at your comment "Mack truck-sized cinnamon rolls (hello, are we feeing a family of five?)," The cinnamon rolls are the perfect size for me and my two daughters to share. :) So, a family of three, maybe? I can't imagine eating the entire thing by myself.

WIRED

I believe that the scones in particular are supposed to be dry just as the biscotti. I mean, arent you supposed to eat it with coffee or tea. Just like you dip the biscotti to bring out the flavor, I believe you do the sam ewith the scones... Also, although Starbucks pastries are very fatty and sometimes dry, people are obviously still buying them, so what does that say?

Sheila

I've heard a terrible rumor that they discontinued my beloved seven layer bar!!! That (along w. the Doubletree cookies) was one of my reasons for living!!! anyone know if this is true? Can I order them on line or something? PLEASE HELP!!!

michelle walsh

I worked at a Starbucks way back in 1998 in Burbank, CA, and we used to get the bulk of our pastries from either the La Brea Bakery, or by mail from places within the state. Ah, those were the days. The pastries were fabulous, fresh every single day from a real bakery. I believe the reason they changed over to the corporate pastries was in an attempt for them to be "consistent". The problem is, they tend to be consistently horrible. I have worked at three other SBUX since then, up until 2003, but they all suffered the same pastry fate.

mr

The only starbucks that has good pastries are the ones in Hawaii. Why? They use local vendors. THat's what all of them should do! THey have a killer oatcake!

corporate pastries?

oh come on!

raquel

ugggh, if the pastry is too big for your little delicate dieting frame, don't order it. my god.

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