Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nothing to Eat With Your Latte

Among the major coffeehouse chains, it appears to be a race to the bottom — at least as far as food is concerned. Caribou Coffee seems determined to follow Starbucks to the lowest common denominator of pastries and other food items.

I hadn't been to a Caribou outlet in a while, but the one I visited at the airport Tuesday had a selection of muffins and pastries that looked every bit as unappetizing as Starbucks' options.

These muffins and pastries looked like those plastic props you used to see years ago inside the refrigerators on sale at Sears Roebuck. (Okay, so I'm dating myself.)

At least Starbucks serves oatmeal, and I like the combo of dried fruit, nuts and brown sugar that they provide for it. It's not a memorable breakfast, but it's far tastier (and healthier) than anything else in a Starbucks outlet.

I have always liked Caribou because it actually uses logical names for the different sizes of coffee/espresso drinks -- large, medium and small. I've been going to Starbucks for probably 16-plus years, and it still annoys me slightly that they insist on calling a large latte a "venti."

Just a bit pretentious.

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