Starbucks' La Boulange Pastries: The Most Disgusting Breakfast On Earth

laboulange.jpg
Dave Lieberman
Starbucks has always had crappy pastries. Their scones have always been dry; their doughnuts have always been leaden; their much-vaunted hot breakfast sandwiches taste like salty cat tongue and rubberine egg inside a miniature bedroom pillow three weeks overdue for a wash. The pastry case has always been the breakfast of last resort for bleary-eyed business travelers on autopilot, purchased in airports only because it's better than the spooge served on board the aircraft.

They've outdone themselves this time, though, with the co-option of the La Boulange name, a small chain of decent-but-nothing-special bakery-cafés in San Francisco. Starbucks bought them out for $100 million a year and a half ago, in the hopes of revitalizing their quick-service food options.

It didn't work.

Apparently, the principal problem the bean counters at Starbucks were facing was the fact that people weren't ordering enough of their pastry, and they were having to throw it out as it went stale. (Or not--don't think I've forgotten, Starbucks at 49th and 8th in Manhattan.)

I make this assumption because the "La Boulange" pastries that are now infesting my local Starbucks are so shot through with butter--which increases shelf life--that they are all leaden horror stories. You can tell they've been goosed with coagulated moo by the calorie count, which is fast approaching that of vending machine baked goods like those execrable Otis Spunkmeyer muffins. 480 calories for a doughnut that's three inches across? Give me a break.

Starbucks trumpeted their new, lower-calorie pastries when they debuted. What they didn't mention is that the serving size is considerably smaller than the old bakery. The cranberry-orange scone went from 120 grams to 110 grams and lost 70 calories in the process; the morning bun went from 110 grams to 94 grams and lost just 40 calories in the process.

The other problem with all this is that butter is solid at room temperature, and so when pastries made with it sit, they tend to get heavy. Starbucks has compensated for this by insisting that all its pastries be served re-warmed, thus melting some of the fat and fooling the purchaser into thinking he or she is receiving some extra service.

Take one of these warmed-over baked goods out of its protective wax-impregnated bag and put it on a stack of those extra-absorbent napkins they use. Wait about five minutes; any longer, and the fat will re-coagulate. Pick up the pastry and look at the nauseating film of grease that has soaked through the napkins and left on the table. Pizza is supposed to do that; cheese danishes are not.

It's disgusting. It's all disgusting. Don't be fooled. Perhaps if we all ignore it, Starbucks will put these immortal unkillable pastries in reserve for their takeover after global thermonuclear war (which will cause the fat in the pastries to melt and render them at least marginally edible) and find a way to purchase locally produced sweets that don't need long preservation and don't highlight the horrendous, bitter burnt quality of their coffee.

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49 comments
clynnhs92
clynnhs92

There's absolutely no way the new pastries are "stale." All pastries are individually packaged and opened once purchased, Ensuring freshness. Sorry you all had such a terrible experience but our coffee does not in fact suck. If it did we wouldn't have such a successful business/ name. We hand craft every single beverage & if you aren't getting something that tastes right you might not be ordering correctly! Ask questions figure out what it is exactly you want. If your coffee isn't fresh ask for fresh coffee. Our coffee is the best!

Supercute
Supercute

Literally could not focus on the content because this is so poorly written. Yes, you know long words, good for you. This reeks of trying too hard. My goodness. 

eglawrence41789
eglawrence41789

Not a fan...one and done....they need to get coffee right before pushing these too small, too hot, plastic-wrapped high-end pastries...not to mention the high-end price...wayyyoutaline....I could almost handle the price if it was fresh baked, but no way if the barista has to warm it first...let me decide..thank you...!

MeToo
MeToo

Gave up on this swill years ago because their coffee sucked. So this news about their morning edibles is no surprise to me. Some years back I used to fly quite a bit for my job. The airline I was flying at the time decided to switch the coffee it served in the first class cabin from a very rich and flavorful 100% Colombian coffee put out by Farmers brother over to Starbucks. The coffee sucked! From then on I swore off Starbucks. And yes I really do no longer patronize the chain. Plenty of other places to get a good cup of coffee and a danish.

Luz Andaluz
Luz Andaluz

I use to love their blueberry muffins. Their new improved muffin is stale & tasteless so much so my 7 yr wont ask for it anymore

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I like their scones. But it's possible I've never had a really good scone and don't know what I'm missing...

(Hell hath no fury like a woman SCONED..ha ha ha)

Christina Ladera
Christina Ladera

This makes me want a Hapa cupcake to go with my coffee! Akemi.

jmcguinness
jmcguinness

I don't understand why people who hate Starbucks so much keep going there. 

Michelle Verlingieri
Michelle Verlingieri

AND....they changed to some tiny version of Very Berry Coffeecake. It's like 2 bites.

Michelle Verlingieri
Michelle Verlingieri

$2.50 for a tiny 2"x2" square jelly donut is insane. I don't care how good it tastes, it's not worth $2.50. So completely overpriced. I don't know how they justify it.

Beverly Poehlman
Beverly Poehlman

They keep changing bakeries and it gets worse each time...i hate these foofooie crappy little over priced junky pastries...sucks...get real pastries...real muffins....

Scott Myles
Scott Myles

Good bye cruel world...oh wait...can I get a grande Pike's to go?

Scott Myles
Scott Myles

But boy are they good! Ooh. What's tightening feeling in my chest...ouch numbness in arms...must go to the light!

Joanne O'Connell
Joanne O'Connell

Pastries sold anywhere other than a bakery are seldom up to par. I pass on all of them.

Erk Audelo Leon
Erk Audelo Leon

Everything, pastry wise, is complete s..h..t. I usually skip the whole view. Looks really nasty and overpriced. The only thing I have liked is chocolate chip cookies. They are okay.

dannys
dannys

Dave, Dramatic much?  I agree that these are not the best pastries on earth but they are not quite as bad as you have made them out to be.  So your saying that Hostess snacks would be a better option?  Let's think a little before writing stories like this.  

Sophia Sophia Sophia
Sophia Sophia Sophia

That's a dame shame I used to work at la Boulange in San Fran our pastries were to die for especially the bread pudding

reginald.a.fessenden
reginald.a.fessenden

Dave is a complete moron. Not because he hates Starbucks, but because blogging hyperbolic crap like this doesn't do anyone any good. Starbucks may be bad and La Boulange pastries might be the worst ever in creation (which they are not), but "The Worst Breakfast on Earth"? No, and it's not even close. I actually thought this was going to be one of those 'Eat this, not that' pieces which diss an In-and-Out cheeseburger or a wonderful plate of fettuccine alfredo. Take it for what's it worth Dave, Starbucks is the ubiquitous McDonald's of coffee and the low standards that go along with it.

CharlesLam
CharlesLam

Whenever I get a Starbuck's breakfast sandwich, I'm sad that there's not a McDonald's next door.

Claire Morgan
Claire Morgan

Thank you! I hate that damn pink pastry case! Bryn Karr

BoaNoiteIfugao
BoaNoiteIfugao

"The spooge served on board the aircraft"?  Oh, blerg.  I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Terri Boland
Terri Boland

I have to agree they are horrible. I go daily for a chai latte but save calories on not buying the pastries..

Remy Merriex
Remy Merriex

Obviously somebody has tried Taco Bell's new waffle taco. Nobody is going to be wresting title of Most Disgusting Breakfast from them for a long, long time.

Rachel Peress
Rachel Peress

I don't understand how Starbucks has survived at all much less doing well. The coffee sucks big time! The "food" I don't touch!

949girl
949girl topcommenter

Nothing in that picture looks tempting...not even the cake pops!

949girl
949girl topcommenter

I would have to agree with you.  I go to Starbucks at least 5 times per week, if not 7.  (only because it is closest to my house and on my way to work, otherwise I would go to Coffee Bean etc).  I finally just got the Starbucks app because I guess you earn free food, wow free dry food to choose from lol.  The only time I ever get something to eat from Starbucks is if I'm in a pinch.  It's usually that reduced fat egg white turkey bacon muffin.  It's really not all that great but it's easy and it works.  I would never go to Starbucks for that intentionally.  It's just for emergencies.


I would have to say that most (not all, like Kean) coffee shop pastries are dry and boring.  That's the thing, those coffee cakes are the driest things ever and they don't do anything to help you feel full!  And they are expensive!  It's funny, because every morning I glance in the shelf at Starbucks and I'm never once tempted to get any of the pastries.  Kean is a different story though.  Maybe that's why I don't go there!

Bill Martin
Bill Martin

the back goods suck what the hell did they do and there coffee is on the downfall

Maria A. Moffa
Maria A. Moffa

I'm in Weight Watchers. A bunch of us in a meeting were saying we'd lost more weight since Starbucks purchased this company, as they are so bad!

Noel Koziel
Noel Koziel

Too bad; they're delicious in San Francisco.

qdpsteve
qdpsteve

Not bad Dave. :-)


Alls I knows is, I'd bet a lot of hipsters crapped their pants and/or had a coronary episode when Consumer Reports said McDonalds coffee tastes better than Starbucks.

clynnhs92
clynnhs92

It shouldn't be stale all pastries are individually packaged ensuring that it's fresh

clynnhs92
clynnhs92

The coffee cake is actually bigger. It's a mini loaf.

mister_ecks
mister_ecks

@qdpsteve  which hipsters do you know that drink Starbucks? Being too cool for Starbucks has been a hipster affectation since *I* was young enough to call myself one.

kml518
kml518

@mister_ecks @qdpsteve if you called yourself a hipster, you're clearly not one. stop trying so hard to act cool & think that you know what's going on.

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