Happy summer! You probably thought I was off climbing the Rockies, having summer adventures with the gang and watching Workaholics reruns in my basement (well, you were right about one of those things). But here at Edge, the grind (pun intended) doesn’t stop and neither do I. That’s why I’m here to present (and endorse) a lunch option for students on campus and downtown dwellers alike.

We all know that Starbucks has great coffee, but what I didn’t know was that they also offer breakfast and lunch. I was tipped off by a coworker that Starbucks had some great gourmet sandwiches, so I decided it was my duty to find out how they stacked up for the rest of us. I arrived around noon and made my move for the front counter and looked for my lunch options.


Included are a myriad of flatbreads, paninis and breakfast sandwiches. Being a man of simple pleasures, I went for the “old-fashioned grilled cheese.” My sandwich arrived with haste, heat emanating from its paper pocket and the scent of melted cheese not far behind.

As my sandwich cooled, I spoke with the manager while surveying my surroundings. The joint was surprisingly calm for lunch hour, even on a weekday; the place was quiet, and though I’d poked fun before, I couldn’t help but think about the benefits of writing or studying in a quiet environment like this as opposed to my loud, Marc Maron and Morrissey-filled apartment. That’s one of the central principles of Starbucks – the idea of the “third place.” There’s home, there’s work and then there’s the “third place”: Starbucks. It’s a great place to relax and chat with friends or write an engrossing restaurant review that you’re going to share on Facebook (hint, hint).


Mmmmmm….coffee (perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up)

Along with my sandwich, I ordered some iced chai tea to counteract the summer heat. I like chai tea, it tastes like Christmas in July (or June). For those who don’t enjoy the taste off coffee, there are some delicious “refreshers”.

My sandwich was made of multigrain bread and something like four different cheeses, including American and aged cheddar. This isn’t your mom’s grilled cheese (I know, nothing will be better than Mom’s grilled cheese, but stay with me). The flavor and textures were great – much better than Panera’s, and fairly cheap. Not only was the sandwich tasty, and I don’t mean to pander here, it was sizable. I didn’t finish it in one sitting. Granted, my stomach was filled with chai tea, but yours should be too.

Your friendly neighborhood baristas!

Your friendly neighborhood baristas!

I’d like to thank my friend, as well as Starbucks, for inviting me in for lunch because quite honestly, I’d never thought of it as an option and I doubt you have either. It’s not like we’re short of options at Gannon University, but what kind of college student doesn’t feel limited when it comes to food? We all need a break from campus food from time to time and one can only eat McDonald’s or leftover Domino’s for so long. Trust me – Aaron, eater of Erie – I’m happy to recommend stopping by our local Starbucks and giving one of their gourmet sandwiches or pastries a try the next time you find yourself missing Mom’s cooking.