Like many European corporations, London-based Pret A Manger, the readymade restaurant people, have established their first American beachhead in New York City (with a single store in Washington, DC, as well). Ubiquitous as seeds on a bun over in the UK, in New York it's a rare and welcome site.
Many's the time a quick lunch on the Kings Road in Chelsea is had at Pret. Egg-and-cress sandwich and a packet of pickled onion crisps. In New York City, because it's so close to the Royalton, I tend to visit for breakfast...as I did most mornings of my New York City vacation.
I love Pret because everything is fresh, everything is tasty, the people working there seem glad to be doing so and you get your food fast. They may not be the most picturesque dining rooms, but neither do they resemble the feeding area of a refugee camp. And anyway, the best part of eating at Pret is sitting out front at one of the aluminum tables, watching people, cars, jets hanging in the misty clouds above, making for Heathrow.
I also love Pret for its corporate voice. I don't like cute companies. But I sure do like clever and credible ones. Here's how they describe their food on their Web site:
Pret operates a bit like a restaurant. Every Pret has its own kitchen (except for one or two of the tiny ones). You won’t find ‘sell by’ dates on our fresh sandwiches and salads. We don’t sell ‘factory’ stuff. We offer our food to charity at the end of each day rather than keep it over. We shun the obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives common to so much ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ food. Our ingredients are delivered fresh every day. We don’t mind that fresh and fragile ingredients go off quickly – we start from scratch each morning. Our menu is updated all the time, so check back often.
What's not to love? Creamy Greek yoghurt and honey with granola was my choice whilst Preston enjoyed a breakfast sandwich on croissant. Perfect fuel for a day busting around the New York Botanical Gardens and MOMA...
Where's your favorite place to eat breakfast when you travel? Let me know in the comments.