Photo: Elizabeth Hait, AOL
We're not exactly making a New Year's resolution to count our calories, but when we saw that both Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts were launching two new "healthier" breakfast sandwiches this week, we took the bait. Here, the details and our panel's scorecard:
The Contenders: Starbucks' New Veggie Artisan Breakfast Sandwich vs. Dunkin' Donuts' Wake-up Wraps varieties (Egg White Turkey Sausage and Egg White Veggie).
The Claims: Starbucks' new Veggie, Egg, & Monterey Jack sandwich is, "an ... omelet with fire-roasted green and red peppers and diced onion topped with melted Monterey Jack cheese nestled in a hand-scored oven-toasted artisan roll." (350 calories)
Dunkin's Wake-Up Wraps "feature a five-inch tortilla filled with egg whites, turkey sausage, spinach, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese," and the Veggie Wake-Up Wrap has "egg whites, peppers, onions, mushrooms and reduced-fat cheese." (150 calories)
The Price: From January 4 (yes, that's today) through the 10th, Starbucks has a deal going: Buy one of their handcrafted beverages and get a Breakfast Sandwich for $2. Dunkin' Wraps sell for $1.29 each.
The Verdict: Starbucks Veggie ABS (Grade B-): Although the sandwich was fresh, and the bread was a better quality than the Dunkin' Wake-Up Wraps' tortillas (which were kind of hard), our panelists thought there was just too much bread, not nearly enough vegetables (we only had two or three peppers buried in each sandwich's egg), and it was bland. "More salt," begged one panelist. "More flavor!" When it came to the cheese, though, the Monterey Jack of Starbucks had an edge over Dunkin's low-cal cheese, which, said one panelist, "tasted like fake cheese food." Starbucks, add more vegetables and amp up the spice, please.
Dunkin's Wrap (Grade B+): Everyone on the panel agreed this wrap (which isn't really a wrap at all) had the kick you want in a breakfast sandwich. It was more highly spiced than the Starbucks Veggie ABS, and the sausage had good flavor. The tortilla, though, could use a remake. It tasted just a touch stale. Dunkin', we'll come back for the spice, and the low-cal ease, but freshen up the tortillas, please.