03 Mar MAPPETITE MEAL MINDER: FAST FOOD 101

The big dilemma with that fast food – compromised quality for cost and speed.

A mom & pop sandwich shop or gourmet market is a rarity for urban and suburban folk where “on-the-go dining” get”s you processed, unhealthy and calorie-loaded eats.  Think burger stalwarts like McDonald”s and Burger King along with the pizza-as-sandwich substitute from the likes of the ubiquitous Domino”s.

Now, what about SUBWAY? Don”t be fooled – there”s nothing healthy nor natural about what you get at one of those franchised, portion-controlled and processed Subway stops. Their claims are just an added layer to the cloyingly noxious yeasty vapor that overwhelm all Subway stations. The fare may be less but the food is far from good.

Then there”s PRET A MANGER.  In the branded (often, overly so) and streamlined (modern but not too spartan) shops sandwiches are displayed for self-service grab-pay-and-go logistics. There”s a bit of the old world Automat feel albeit, without entry via automated little doors.  Makes sense as PRET is French for “ready” and “a manger” to eat. Voila, pret a manger: ready to eat.  You may pay a little more to eat the PRET sandwich but eat well you will. Or, as far as fast food is concerned, well enough.  There”s the award winning purveyed ingredients (an ingredient list appears on the PRET U.K. site though, oddly, not for the U.S.), and an emphasis on fresh (avocados were discernibly avocados and the bread pliable and light)  along with the organic and sustainably sourced (local milk and salad greens). In a New York PRET I was looking for a provenance claim for the eggs in all those egg salad sandwiches – wish they were organic too but, heck there are still limits and, after all, this is fast food.

I”m ready for PRET, what about you? PRET A MANGER a.k.a PRET, locations in United Kingdom, Hong Kong, New York and Washington D.C.

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