I understand there is a good amount of people who spend a great portion of their day at their local coffee shop and since coffee shops anticipate these kind of people, they have sandwiches and salads – albeit expensive ones. While I can’t really say I’ve spent more than a couple of hours at a coffee shop (being that I used to work at one a while back), I can see the appeal – to get out of the house, to catch up with friends, studying, doing work.

Starbucks has recently launched these “Bistro Boxes” that cost from $6-7 for a healthy and lighter lunch. I got to try three of their eight selections: Chicken and Hummus, Salami and Cheese and Sesame Noodles.

The first one I tried was the Chicken and Hummus. The box contained two slices of whole wheat pita, three slices of grilled chicken and sliced up zucchini, carrots and red peppers. The vegetables were soggy, so they weren’t so enjoyable. The pita was more substantial than most pita bread but very dry – that’s where the hummus comes in. While it isn’t the best hummus I’ve ever had, it’s not too bad. I kind of wish they gave more considering the price, but it’s enough to dip the bread, chicken and veggies in. The chicken was flavourful but I felt kind of strange eating chicken strips on its own.

The next box was the “Salumi and Cheese” box, at first I thought it was a spelling error, but according to their website – salumi means “salty meat” in Italian. Anyway, this box has prosciutto (not sure whether it’s Italian or Canadian), some pepper salami, asiago cheese, crackers and olives. Okay HOLD UP, before I continue with this review – on the Starbucks website it says I get dark chocolate too – but there wasn’t any dark chocolate in the box!!!  I think of all three boxes, this was my favourite because I like the idea of sort of an anti-pasto/cheese plate. The meats were not dry – they were still quite moist and enjoyable (although only having about two -three slices each). Asiago cheese is one of my favourite, an interesting pair with the meats and I love olives, so this platter has my name written all over it. I didn’t get to try the crackers, but they look pretty basic to me.

The last one was the Sesame Noodle – which is basically sesame noodle salad (broccoli, diced red peppers, carrots in peanut dressing). It also comes with another salad – a carrot cucumber salad, weird. There are sesame peanuts and baked tofu w/lime glaze. Of the whole box, the sesame noodles were the best, but not by much. The tofu was still firm but had very little flavour. The cucumber salad was refreshing but nothing really to write home about. It ALSO says on the Starbucks website that you get dark chocolate with this box, but I didn’t get one!!

Would I spend $7 for a Starbucks Bistro Box? No, not really. But if I was sitting at a Starbucks for more than 5-6 hours and there was no place to eat, I might consider getting the Salumi and Cheese box. But I’d probably wait it out and go somewhere else to eat because for about the same price, I’m pretty sure you can find a bigger and decent meal elsewhere.