Mar 12, 2015

Review: Starbucks - Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl

Starbucks' Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl features black beans, roasted corn, quinoa, grilled white chicken strips, lettuce, tomatoes, jicama, and feta cheese with a mild chili vinaigrette.

It goes for $6.95, which makes it one of the priciest food items on the Starbucks menu.

The vinaigrette comes in a separate and fairly sturdy cup. There's a roasted tomato flavor to it along with just a bit of a kick. I ended up using only half of it for a nice balance that didn't mute the individual components of the salad.

The ingredients were pretty fresh for a quickly grab-able, pre-made item from a display case. For something called a "chicken and black bean salad," there weren't that many black beans, but what was there was firm with a nice earthiness. The bulk of the salad was lettuce and quinoa, but there was still a good deal of variety in terms of taste as well as of texture.

The tomatoes came whole and burst with flavor. The corn added sweetness. The jicama added a somewhat neutral flavor along with a watery crispness similar to fresh watermelon.

The cooked quinoa presented a nuttiness and a rice-like texture that captured the vinaigrette quite well.

The chicken was meaty and tender and the feta provides a salty creaminess.

Overall, I enjoyed Starbucks' Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad a lot. There's a lot going on in this 9.5-oz bowl and surprisingly, nothing gets lost in the shuffle. It does feel a little like you're paying a bit of a Starbucks premium, but I guess that's expected.

Nutritional Info - Starbucks Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl w/ dressing(268g)
Calories - 360 (from Fat - 130)
Fat - 15g (Saturated Fat - 2.5g)
Sodium - 850mg
Carbs - 38g (Sugar - 9g)
Protein - 19g

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