The coffee chain giant Starbucks Coffee has recently revised and reshuffled its menu. Sadly one fact of life is inflation and it's had a hand in the revisions, so almost every coffee beverage on the menu sells PhP10 dearer like-for-like.
Also unfortunate is how some old favorites are taking a bow.
I learned from Mabie that a number of ladies out there sing praises about the Fruit and Nut Toast. When I tried it, I found it quite good. One order of PhP50 gets you two generous slices, plus a pat of butter and a vial of fruit preserve.
I normally dislike the more plebeian analogue, raisin bread, but fruit and nut toast is more to my liking. It has walnuts and what looks like cranberries buried in the dough, and the bread itself is pretty good without having that eating-a-dry-sock taste that whole wheat bread tends to have. It's another example of why multi-grain bread just tastes that much better.
Prior to the menu refresh, I also tried the Sausage Roll, selling for PhP75. Imagine a sausage wrapped in a turnover of flaky croissant dough and you'd be close to the mark. It's also quite good, although for the price it's nothing mind-blowing. I'm not sure if this survived the cut.
We found an intriguing item on Starbucks' new menu, however. We tried the Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom sandwich, served on what looks like grilled ciabatta bread, for PhP140. It's just as big and as pricey as Starbucks' other large sandwiches.
Now, I'm not the hugest fan of pesto, and it's notoriously easy to get it overdone and have the taste of basil making roadkill out of everything else.
The moist cheese serves as a great vehicle for the pesto, not unlike the spinach and artichoke dip with gorgonzola cheese that other Italian restaurants serve as appetizer. I'd consider this trifecta of ingredients - pesto, chicken and shiitake - quite well-judged.
As I mentioned, care must be taken to avoid the pesto overruling any other ingredients' tastes, and the biggest potential victim here is the chicken (because the peculiar taste of shiitake will always make itself known - and I eat a lot of it).
Mabie and I enjoyed this new sandwich as our breakfast. What's interesting is that Starbucks seems to have kept its large sandwiches at the same price. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that I can continue to enjoy this new favorite once in a while without blowing unnecessarily large holes in my wallet.