Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cappuccino is worth waiting for...

When Rick and I were in New York in July, we noticed something interesting at the Starbucks around the corner from our hotel. All of the pastries in the glass case were labeled not only with a description, but also with a calorie count. I thought it was a great idea – I often wonder how significantly one of those sweet treats will set me back in my quest to eat a balanced diet. And usually, the unknown quantity isn’t worth the extra time I’d have to spend on the treadmill, so I bypass the entire pastry case…

We later found out that New York had passed a law requiring calorie counts to appear on menu items. Or at least on items at places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts – I don’t remember any calorie counts on actual restaurant menus, but I think the law was pretty new. So maybe menus have been changed by now. And I think it’s a great idea, because it can help you make better choices – but it seems Starbucks saw a sudden decrease in sales of all those pastries. Apparently people never REALIZED they were eating 480 calories when they consumed one of those glazed donuts, or 450 calories when they polished off a scone. Personally, I don’t think it should’ve come as such a huge surprise – donuts have never been considered “health food,” so what did you expect, exactly??

But Starbucks, being the health-conscious company it is (hey, there have been tons of studies that say coffee is GOOD for you…), decided to add a few new menu items with LOWER calorie counts. Which look so much better on those little placards in the glass case, I’m sure. (I wish they would do that calorie count thing here in Austin, but so far, I think it’s just New York…)

So this morning we decided to try one of the new lower-calorie menu items – the apple bran muffin. We ordered two cappuccinos and the muffin, and then stood over near the end of the counter to wait for our coffee. In the meantime, we munched on the muffin, which turned out to be quite good, actually. I wasn’t sure about that “bran” part – “bran muffin” doesn’t exactly conjure up visions of delicious decadence. But it was very good – and along with the apples, there were whole cherries scattered throughout the muffin. And I LOVE cherries. (It was also interesting, because just yesterday we were trying to convince my mom that she should make an apple/cherry pie sometime, and she made a face that suggested, “apples and cherries should never intermix… they must be forever segregated…” Yet the apples and cherries in the apple bran muffin melded together very nicely. Just FYI, mom, in case you change your mind about the apple/cherry pie. :))

Anyway, as we stood there at the end of the counter, taking bites of muffin out of our take-away paper bag until nothing was left but a few crumbs and a stray cherry (which I plucked out of the bag and ate), we suddenly realized that a guy who was still PAYING for his drink was presented with his venti frappuccino as he stood in front of the cash register. And Rick and I had been waiting for OUR drinks so long that we’d eaten an entire muffin. When Rick inquired about this, the woman behind the cash register (who knows us because we’re in that Starbucks so often) smiled sheepishly and admitted she’d forgotten to tell the barista about our drinks. “You’re in here so often,” she said. “I’m used to everyone just KNOWING what you want.” Apparently, we’re such regulars at Starbucks that the employees automatically start on our drinks before we even order. Well, except today. But all was not lost – they gave us two coupons for free coffee…

So not only did we get a chance to try the new lower-calorie muffin, but we burned off most of the calories waiting for our coffee. Because everyone knows you burn more calories when you stand than when you sit… I want another muffin…

3 comments:

bgrapes said...

(beavis and butthead) huh huh...heh heh...huh huh.... 'blog'

(beavis and butthead) heh heh heh...huh huh...heh heh huh... 'you're blogging' he he huh huh...heh heh....

Lisa said...

LOL!! :) Hey Bill! I always thought "blog" sounded like what my cat does when she throws up a hairball... she always goes, "bl... bl... blo... BLOG..." At least that's what it sounds like to me. :)

bgrapes said...

ha ha ha, very true! Years ago when I was single I had two female cats. Honest to God the first time I saw/heard one of them cough up a hairball I thought something was wrong, ha ha (i had never owned cats before).

They were fun cats. One of them played 'fetch' with me and the other one liked to 'groom' me when I was sleeping, ha ha.