The delightful Pret A Manger sandwich shops which have taken Manhattan by storm in the last decade—in the days when they were backed by McDonald’s—began in London. When Pret first showed up here, they went a bit screwy: apparently there was just too much mayo for New Yorkers and they overextended themselves and had to close stores. But they recovered—with new financial partners—quite nicely, and are a happy addition to New York City’s lunch options. And back home, in London, Pret is more omnipresent than Starbucks is in New York. Why, sometimes you can see three Prets from a roundabout!
And inside the Prets of London… uh, WE AMERICANS ARE BEING ROBBED????
1. They have a halloumi sandwich. This is amazing. If you are not familiar, halloumi is the world’s best cheese, a weird sort of rubbery Crypriot concoction that is best pan-fried. If there was such a sandwich handy in New York City, I’d never eat anything else.
2. They have a “mature cheddar and pickle” sandwich which is DELIGHTFUL.
3. They have a CRAYFISH SANDWICH. Actually two different sandwiches with crayfish. I mean obviously this is a little gross, but can you imagine?
4. There is a falafel and yogurt sandwich!??? Yay.
5. The gravest insult of all, as you can see pictured above, is the NEW YORK BLOOMER.
Yes, there is an actual sandwich named for New York that cannot be purchased in New York. So not only is almost every Pret London sandwich far superior to that which you can get in America, including this one, they are basically just spitting on us behind our backs and under our noses.
Here we get “cheddar and tomato” and “chicken and bacon” and that inventive thing, the “ham and cheese,” and over there, THEY GET EVERYTHING. This dim view of America is sad-making.
What’s worse is we probably did it to ourselves. Likely we spurned their fine and interesting sandwich offerings. Then, in reasonable market response, they were dumbed down to the most common denominator. I blame the tourists. I’d like to blame the tourists. I bet it was us, though. Please, Pret: lots has changed in New York City in the last 12 years. Like, we almost built thirty feet of the Second Avenue subway since 2000! Things are changing! We have an artisanal mayonnaise store now! Try us again, we’re better than you rightfully think we are.