Starbucks does Salad? The Mercato situation

Starbucks now serving… Salad

I stopped at my local Starbucks to pick up a quick cold brew and a little something to nibble, I’d not had lunch and figured a sous vide egg thing would be great to tide me over. Instead, I was surprised to see signs for new salads.

I was wooed by the idea of a Green Goddess Avocado salad, though I had no clue what the points were going to be.

What’s this Mercato thing?

Evidently, in April, Starbucks launched Mercato, a line of sandwiches, salads and snack boxes in Chicago. With a receptive audience, they rolled it out nation wide, with some items (Cubanos and Farmers Protein Boxes) hitting sooner then others.

The salads rolled out today in Seattle.

Craving a fresh salad, the Avocado Green Goddess sounded AMAZING, so of course they were out of it. My second choice offered to me was a hard boiled egg salad.

Thinking I was getting an egg salad sort of deal, I happily agreed. As I drove through the barista was so happy to have me take the salad off his hands, he gave me a brochure and a lunch bag. (Weird, and huge compared to the size of the salad.)

A Hard Boiled Side salad with grains










How was it?

The hard boiled eggs were just tossed on top of a bed of kinda limp spinach with a bed of grains on top. The tomatoes were not fresh but were instead roasted (great choice to keep them fresher longer actually)  It was lightly dressed, and the grains were well cooked.  The eggs themselves had a firmness to the white you see if an egg has been peeled, then held for a few hours before serving. The “grains” were brown rice.  The eggs bumped up the calorie count and when I ran the numbers according to WW it was 11 SP.  If you counted the eggs on their own, counted the vegetables as free, you get 4 SP , you have to figure a few points at least for the vinaigrette (and any other added oil). So 11 is the official count, but you might be able to fudge it and call it 9.

A second choice?

I found the Avocado Green Goddess salad at a different Starbucks, and while I wasn’t looking for lunch I got a closer look at the salad itself.   The larger salads are very big, the greens looked fresh, and the grains looked well cooked. The avocado was distinct pieces of avocado, instead of being guacamole.

What did I like about it?

The ingredients list is amazingly clean. You can see it here on the Starbucks Site.
Basically, it’s eggs, spinach, tomatoes, brown rice, some seasoning, and vinaigrette. Not bad at all.  It’s all food that can be easily recognized.
It’s convenient, a stop at Starbucks for a mid-afternoon break could be improved with some vegetables.

What don’t I like about it?

The points counts are a little high, for most everything. You can find the nutritional information here:Count it for yourself and see what you come up with.  Spot checking, the Green Goddess Salad is 21 SP. The Cauliflower Tabouli is 5 SP,  and that’s mostly just vegetables with a little dressing. (a tbls of olive oil is about 5 SP, so maybe that’s the count. )

So many grains. While I’m not eating 100% paleo, it’d be nice to have some of these salads without the grains. A scoop of brown rice, quinoa or orzo may be a nice way to bulk it up.

Bottom line?
Good in a pinch, but check the points before you take a bite.

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