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Skip vegetarian breakfast sandwich, bring on veggie lunch option at Starbucks

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Starbucks vegetable & fontiago breakfast sandwich versus Starbucks roasted tomato & mozzarella panini

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Starbucks is known for drinks and pastries, and the sandwiches get downplayed quite a bit. Just look at the display windows full of cake, muffins, croissants and more. And the signs are a rundown of drink combinations. Starbucks' website tells another story though, and some of their best and worst sandwiches get buried behind the counter. One of them needs to stay buried; the other should be highlighted more often.

The roasted tomato & mozzarella panini lunch option is a delicious mix of roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, spinach and basil pesto on a piccolo roll.

The vegetable & fontiago breakfast sandwich is a combination of spinach, sundried tomatoes, eggs, caramelized onions and fontiago cheese on a multigrain ciabatta bun.

Both sandwiches are safe for vegetarians but not vegans because of the cheese. And although both sandwiches have similar ingredients (spinach, cheese, tomatoes), the caramelized onions ruin a perfectly good sandwich. The aftertaste of the breakfast sandwich is less than thrilling, and microwaved eggs aren't exactly the best for the palate.

Maybe with the onions removed, the breakfast sandwich would be a delicious treat, similar to the flatbread egg and veggie sandwich at Dunkin' Donuts (croissant is better but more fattening). But the onions and spinach are clashing in the Starbucks' option. (For those who want to save a few dollars, the Special K egg and veggie flatbread sandwich is highly recommended, with a side of Morningstar bacon.)

Between Dunkin' Donuts and Special K egg and veggie flatbread sandwiches, Special K's is slightly less fatty -- 7 grams versus 10 grams, 19 carbohydrates versus 32 carbohydrates. But both sandwiches have the same amount of dietary fiber (3 grams), and Dunkin' Donuts trumps Special K in protein (16 grams versus 9 grams). Either one is a winner even with reheated eggs.

Nothing beats a homemade sandwich. However, when it comes to restaurant or frozen breakfasst sandwiches, choose one of the latter options over Starbucks. However, save room at lunch time for Starbucks' roasted tomato & mozzarella panini, a definite treat for those who have a craving for a pizza-like sandwich.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago vegetarian entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Vegetarian channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Diet & Exercise" and "Vegetarian World" Pinterest boards.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews.

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