Starbucks launches $3.95 breakfast "pairings"

Starbucks, in a fairly plain effort to fend off McDonald's encroachment, this week rolled out a breakfast deal menu featuring oatmeal, coffee cake or a sandwich with a coffee for $4 and change.

Robed in language like "pairing" instead of what other fast food places would call a value meal and "artisan bread" in place of English muffins, the coffee kings seem they're trying to fancify what is really just an Egg McMuffin and a cup o' joe.

According to the New York Times, in further efforts to suspend consumers' disbelief, Starbucks nixed their egg manufacturer's first go, wanting it to look more natural, less molded, even though, as the Times points out, the eggs are still just as mass-produced (made in vats -- eek!) as the next guy's.

No question, the food's cheap though, as well as convenient, and Starbucks are ubiquitous (though that is getting to be less so in Minnesota). The deal is also available all day, which is a plus.

The turkey bacon sandwich is underwhelming, overpowered by the muffin (which actually, on its own is probably the best part of 'wich). The white, thick cheese is tasteless, the bacon hammered thin.

You can tell the thing was frozen, so everything all sort of tastes the same.

The doily thing it comes wrapped in is pretty amusing though.