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Starbucks launches new bakery line

San Francisco's La Boulange Cafe & Bakery now

San Francisco's La Boulange Cafe & Bakery now supplies pastries for Starbucks. Credit: Newsday /Joan Reminick

For a chain that's raised the bar on coffee drinking in America, Starbucks has done almost nothing to match those espressos and lattes with worthy accompaniments. Now, to  change all that, Starbucks has partnered up with a new supplier — San Francisco’s La Boulange Café & Bakery.

The new line debuted at Long Island Starbucks this week, and the FeedMe team gave it a test drive. What we found were some winners, along with a few clunkers.

A real surprise was the croissant, which, at 240 calories, was surprisingly guilt-free. Although not quite as flaky and buttery as the French patisserie paradigm, it at least approached the ideal. Starbucks' discontinued croissant was bigger, drier and weighed in at almost 100 calories more. A chocolate croissant (340 calories) turned out to be an indulgence worth taking. Other standouts included four kinds of savory puff-pastry squares — spinach wheat, ham and cheese, tomato and cheese and, finally, butternut squash and sage — each of which went down easy and could count as either breakfast or lunch (280-330 calories).

Mini loaf cakes, whether reduced fat or regular, were neither as moist nor as appealing as their predecessors. And forget the morning bun — it was dry and, at 390 calories, offered incentive enough to defect to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Favorite item: the chewy chocolate meringue cookie which, at 160 calories, proved rich and fudgy yet light.

Selections were priced from $1.50 to $3.45.

“Everything is meant to be served warm,” I was told by the friendly barista at the Melville branch of Starbucks, who individually warmed each pastry I brought back to the office.

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