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  • Pret A Manger

    Post #1 - September 23rd, 2010, 2:03 pm
    Post #1 - September 23rd, 2010, 2:03 pm Post #1 - September 23rd, 2010, 2:03 pm
    For those, like myself, who have been waiting patiently all summer, Pret opens tomorrow (211 Adams).

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... dwich-spot

    The article says a 2nd location opens at LaSalle and Madison later in the fall.
  • Post #2 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm
    Post #2 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm Post #2 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:04 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:For those, like myself, who have been waiting patiently all summer, Pret opens tomorrow (211 Adams).

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... dwich-spot

    The article says a 2nd location opens at LaSalle and Madison later in the fall.


    Hooray!

    Been waiting for the Adams location to open for a while now. And it looks like my office will be directly between two Prets by year end.

    Thanks for the update.
  • Post #3 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:46 pm
    Post #3 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:46 pm Post #3 - September 23rd, 2010, 6:46 pm
    I don't work in the loop, so forgive me if I don't get it - but what does Pret offer that you can't otherwise get? From my experience working in Manhattan most of what they offer is over-priced, bland food in small portions - certainly not at the top of my list for lunch choices. Their coffee, I guess, is OK.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #4 - September 24th, 2010, 7:37 am
    Post #4 - September 24th, 2010, 7:37 am Post #4 - September 24th, 2010, 7:37 am
    Habibi wrote:I don't work in the loop, so forgive me if I don't get it - but what does Pret offer that you can't otherwise get? From my experience working in Manhattan most of what they offer is over-priced, bland food in small portions - certainly not at the top of my list for lunch choices.

    Walking down Madison Avenue in midtown about a year ago with my wife, it appeared to us that Prets have largely replaced the sit-down coffee shops that one used to be able to find on nearly every corner. We found this regrettable, because we wanted to find a sit-down coffee shop. But on the other hand, within its category (which is the category the business-district lunch world seems to want these days--quick, easy, inexpensive), we found a Pret in London to be above-average. So I can see the appeal.
  • Post #5 - September 24th, 2010, 9:07 am
    Post #5 - September 24th, 2010, 9:07 am Post #5 - September 24th, 2010, 9:07 am
    Habibi wrote:I don't work in the loop, so forgive me if I don't get it - but what does Pret offer that you can't otherwise get? From my experience working in Manhattan most of what they offer is over-priced, bland food in small portions - certainly not at the top of my list for lunch choices. Their coffee, I guess, is OK.


    It's a good option for a quick meal. I don't usually have the benefit of a leisurely lunch and it's a good alternative to the take-out places in the area (which are increasingly mediocre - how many Potbelly's, Chipotle's and Subway's can an area sustain?). I've always found their offerings to be fresh, well-prepared and reasonably priced.
  • Post #6 - September 24th, 2010, 9:19 am
    Post #6 - September 24th, 2010, 9:19 am Post #6 - September 24th, 2010, 9:19 am
    RE: Pret

    It seems as though their menu is somewhat Americanized, no? I haven't been to London in about 7 years but I recall some unique sandwich ingredients..........
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #7 - September 24th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Post #7 - September 24th, 2010, 9:48 am Post #7 - September 24th, 2010, 9:48 am
    teatpuller wrote:RE: Pret

    It seems as though their menu is somewhat Americanized, no? I haven't been to London in about 7 years but I recall some unique sandwich ingredients..........


    I don't think they're relying on name recognition to build business here, so it's more of an adaptation of their model to the American market. My convoluted way of saying that yes, it's Americanized.
  • Post #8 - September 24th, 2010, 11:49 am
    Post #8 - September 24th, 2010, 11:49 am Post #8 - September 24th, 2010, 11:49 am
    I guess I should wait for the Pret thread (or create one) however I had breakfast and lunch from Pret and let's just say I was underwhelmed. My breakfast sandwich was way overpriced and took way too long to warm even with no line. My lunch tuna sandwich lacked an acceptable amount of meat and the baguette was so hard as to be almost inedible. I hope they make necessary changes to make this a viable lunch choice. I took a pic on my Blackberry of my sandwich next to a Jimmy johns sandwich that my co-worker had, and while I would expect the quality of Pret to be better the thickness difference was staggering for the price.
  • Post #9 - September 24th, 2010, 1:10 pm
    Post #9 - September 24th, 2010, 1:10 pm Post #9 - September 24th, 2010, 1:10 pm
    mattshafferHP wrote:I took a pic on my Blackberry of my sandwich next to a Jimmy johns sandwich that my co-worker had, and while I would expect the quality of Pret to be better the thickness difference was staggering for the price.


    Part of that is the difference between a baguette and a hot dog bun. I'm not proud to say I've tried every form of sandwich available in the Loop, including Subway, Quizno's, Jimmy John and even Mr. Submarine (and I really, really miss Nemo's) and most tend to serve on air-fluffed Wonder bread buns. What they lack in flavor and texture they make up in airy volume. So three ounces of dough ends up as a huge base for a sandwich. I, for one, welcome a bread that bites back, but others, like my wife, enjoy hot dog bun.

    I thought the sandwich size at Pret was fine for a lunch portion, but it won't compete with "$5 Foot-Longs" for people who equate size with value.
  • Post #10 - September 24th, 2010, 1:19 pm
    Post #10 - September 24th, 2010, 1:19 pm Post #10 - September 24th, 2010, 1:19 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    mattshafferHP wrote:I took a pic on my Blackberry of my sandwich next to a Jimmy johns sandwich that my co-worker had, and while I would expect the quality of Pret to be better the thickness difference was staggering for the price.


    Part of that is the difference between a baguette and a hot dog bun. I'm not proud to say I've tried every form of sandwich available in the Loop, including Subway, Quizno's, Jimmy John and even Mr. Submarine (and I really, really miss Nemo's) and most tend to serve on air-fluffed Wonder bread buns. What they lack in flavor and texture they make up in airy volume. So three ounces of dough ends up as a huge base for a sandwich. I, for one, welcome a bread that bites back, but others, like my wife, enjoy hot dog bun.

    I thought the sandwich size at Pret was fine for a lunch portion, but it won't compete with "$5 Foot-Longs" for people who equate size with value.


    No, I was talking about the meat - not the bread. I definitely want Pret to do well, as it's near my office, and the more quality lunch choices the better. I just expect a little better value.
  • Post #11 - September 27th, 2010, 11:03 pm
    Post #11 - September 27th, 2010, 11:03 pm Post #11 - September 27th, 2010, 11:03 pm
    When in London for work I was a regular at Pret, because it was basically the only affordable option where I was working. And I loved the interesting British sandwiches. But in the Loop, I don't see a benefit, because there are lots of sandwich shops that are affordable around, even if they suck. Too bad they don't have the same menu, I think enough people who have been overseas will see a Pret and expect some unique sandwich offerings and will be disappointed. But I will have to check it out for myself.
  • Post #12 - September 28th, 2010, 5:37 am
    Post #12 - September 28th, 2010, 5:37 am Post #12 - September 28th, 2010, 5:37 am
    So, no cheese and pickle or beetroot sandwiches then?
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #13 - September 28th, 2010, 6:24 am
    Post #13 - September 28th, 2010, 6:24 am Post #13 - September 28th, 2010, 6:24 am
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:So, no cheese and pickle or beetroot sandwiches then?


    No, but they have ham, turkey, or tuna!
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #14 - September 28th, 2010, 8:28 am
    Post #14 - September 28th, 2010, 8:28 am Post #14 - September 28th, 2010, 8:28 am
    teatpuller wrote:
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:So, no cheese and pickle or beetroot sandwiches then?


    No, but they have ham, turkey, or tuna!


    They're still feeling out the market. I talked to one of the people there who said they were going to start rotating in other sandwich offerings. How "exotic" they get for the Chicago market remains to be seen.
  • Post #15 - September 28th, 2010, 1:17 pm
    Post #15 - September 28th, 2010, 1:17 pm Post #15 - September 28th, 2010, 1:17 pm
    I went today for lunch and was excited b/c well it's something different in the loop area.

    Unfortunately, I landed up leaving b/c there were not many options I could eat as am not eating grains, gluten, dairy or processed anything or sugar. I went late, 1:45 so there were out of most things. I was going to get the chicken/avocado salad but all the dressings were made with bad ingredients (not healthy as they state) like sunflower oil, canola oil, sugars. The healthiest option I saw was the Italian Vinaigrette that was made with Olive Oil but it had a lot of other junk in it as well, so I decided to try and get a soup. Unfortunately the only soups they were serving all had grains or dairy in them, so that was not an option either. It would be nice as a so called "healthy" marketed place if they had some more options for people with food allergies I mean I could of got the salad without dressing, but I wasn't prepared for that as I do not have olive oil in my office, yet....

    Anyways, the menu looks interesting, but is everything prepackaged?
  • Post #16 - September 28th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    Post #16 - September 28th, 2010, 3:10 pm Post #16 - September 28th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote:I went today for lunch and was excited b/c well it's something different in the loop area.

    Unfortunately, I landed up leaving b/c there were not many options I could eat as am not eating grains, gluten, dairy or processed anything or sugar. I went late, 1:45 so there were out of most things. I was going to get the chicken/avocado salad but all the dressings were made with bad ingredients (not healthy as they state) like sunflower oil, canola oil, sugars. The healthiest option I saw was the Italian Vinaigrette that was made with Olive Oil but it had a lot of other junk in it as well, so I decided to try and get a soup. Unfortunately the only soups they were serving all had grains or dairy in them, so that was not an option either. It would be nice as a so called "healthy" marketed place if they had some more options for people with food allergies I mean I could of got the salad without dressing, but I wasn't prepared for that as I do not have olive oil in my office, yet....

    Anyways, the menu looks interesting, but is everything prepackaged?


    Maybe you should give Protein Bar next door a try (if you haven't already)? I think you'll find more items there that fit your parameters.

    http://www.proteinbarchicago.com/

    Back to Pret A Manger, I haven't been able to visit yet but am still looking forward to trying it even though these first reports have been mixed at best.
  • Post #17 - September 28th, 2010, 4:10 pm
    Post #17 - September 28th, 2010, 4:10 pm Post #17 - September 28th, 2010, 4:10 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote:Anyways, the menu looks interesting, but is everything prepackaged?


    Their practice is to prepare everything in-store and package on-site throughout the day. So although their display looks like a 7-11 the sandwiches and salads are freshly prepared.

    As an aside, I'm referring to 7-11s in the US. Some of the European 7-11 locations are very impressive with a much broader choice of food offerings (then again, some European gas stations have impressive food offerings).
  • Post #18 - September 28th, 2010, 5:19 pm
    Post #18 - September 28th, 2010, 5:19 pm Post #18 - September 28th, 2010, 5:19 pm
    I'm excited about this as I am a big fan of the Pret sandwiches in London.

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #19 - September 28th, 2010, 9:25 pm
    Post #19 - September 28th, 2010, 9:25 pm Post #19 - September 28th, 2010, 9:25 pm
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:So, no cheese and pickle or beetroot sandwiches then?


    I've read about cheese and pickle sandwiches in books. Do you know if they're made with
    sweet or dill pickles?

    Jamie
  • Post #20 - September 29th, 2010, 5:52 am
    Post #20 - September 29th, 2010, 5:52 am Post #20 - September 29th, 2010, 5:52 am
    Jamie wrote:
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:So, no cheese and pickle or beetroot sandwiches then?


    I've read about cheese and pickle sandwiches in books. Do you know if they're made with
    sweet or dill pickles?

    Jamie



    Hi, they are made with Branston Pickle. That along with egg and watercress or crayfish and rocket are common sandwich combos found at sandwich chains and supermarkets in Britain.

    http://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Blackwell- ... B0001LVX4K
  • Post #21 - September 29th, 2010, 7:42 am
    Post #21 - September 29th, 2010, 7:42 am Post #21 - September 29th, 2010, 7:42 am
    They're still feeling out the market. I talked to one of the people there who said they were going to start rotating in other sandwich offerings. How "exotic" they get for the Chicago market remains to be seen.


    It seems like there is a US menu that they also use in their NY stores and a UK menu. There is some overlap and some differences. I sort of doubt they will bring in a unique sandwich to Chicago that they are not already doing in NY.
  • Post #22 - September 29th, 2010, 7:45 am
    Post #22 - September 29th, 2010, 7:45 am Post #22 - September 29th, 2010, 7:45 am
    A cheese and coleslaw sandwich would be nice too, particularly if made with Double Gloucester cheese (I may have to give up this dream, no one aside from me and a few million Englishpeople seem to enjoy it).
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #23 - September 29th, 2010, 11:36 am
    Post #23 - September 29th, 2010, 11:36 am Post #23 - September 29th, 2010, 11:36 am
    Maybe you should give Protein Bar next door a try (if you haven't already)? I think you'll find more items there that fit your parameters.


    Ha, went after Pret a manger and all of their food had beans, quinoa or dairy.
  • Post #24 - September 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm
    Post #24 - September 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm Post #24 - September 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm
    Had the sweet chili shrimp and avocado baguette today. The only other baguettes available were turkey/bacon or chicken/mozzarella and frankly those can be had at a number of places.

    Pret a Manger wrote:Sweet Chili Shrimp & Avacado:
    Shrimp, Avocado, Sweet Chili Dressing, Arugula, Pret's Seasoning, Pret's Baguette


    The baguette wasn't too bad. The rest was bland and forgettable.
    I'll keep trying though, at least another time or two. Maybe there's something there worth the 6 block walk.
  • Post #25 - September 30th, 2010, 12:26 pm
    Post #25 - September 30th, 2010, 12:26 pm Post #25 - September 30th, 2010, 12:26 pm
    I just got back from there and my lentil soup was delicious but my egg salad sandwich was meh.. I usually never have egg salad as I don't trust fast food places with mayonnaise but this one was ok. Still better than all the jimmy johns and other crap thats in the loop.
  • Post #26 - September 30th, 2010, 12:44 pm
    Post #26 - September 30th, 2010, 12:44 pm Post #26 - September 30th, 2010, 12:44 pm
    gooseberry wrote:Branston Pickle

    Mmm...Marrows, Dates and Colourant.
    Oh, My!
  • Post #27 - September 30th, 2010, 1:10 pm
    Post #27 - September 30th, 2010, 1:10 pm Post #27 - September 30th, 2010, 1:10 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote:
    Maybe you should give Protein Bar next door a try (if you haven't already)? I think you'll find more items there that fit your parameters.


    Ha, went after Pret a manger and all of their food had beans, quinoa or dairy.


    Given that quinoa is neither grain nor gluten what kind of dietary restrictions do you have?
  • Post #28 - September 30th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Post #28 - September 30th, 2010, 1:40 pm Post #28 - September 30th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote:
    Maybe you should give Protein Bar next door a try (if you haven't already)? I think you'll find more items there that fit your parameters.


    Ha, went after Pret a manger and all of their food had beans, quinoa or dairy.


    Paleo is tough if you are eating out. Stick to Chipotle.
  • Post #29 - September 30th, 2010, 1:46 pm
    Post #29 - September 30th, 2010, 1:46 pm Post #29 - September 30th, 2010, 1:46 pm
    And why no beans, Pythagoras?
  • Post #30 - September 30th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    Post #30 - September 30th, 2010, 1:53 pm Post #30 - September 30th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    Lectin isses.

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