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  1. #1
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    Pret a manger.. Web site with yummy recipes

    I love the United Kingdom chain of sandwich shops...The last time I was there they had recipes on the sandwich bag and they have recipes on their web site... Their food is so good...non GMO..organic.. YUM! the web is pret.com and the link straight to the recipes is http://www.pret.com/our_food/pret_diy/

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  3. #2
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    i loved their sandwiches! they always had vegetarian and vegan ones. i wish they would start restaurants in the US, but Americans are probably too picky to settle for premade sandwiches.

  4. #3
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    Am I on crack, or do they have an outlet in New York? I could swear I went there when I was doing research at the New York Public Library a few years ago. If so, are there plans to expand? ]

    I don't eat a lot of fast food, but for the odd time when I'm caught without a packed lunch, I would be really happy if there were better healthy fast food options in the U.S.

  5. #4
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    They did have some in NYC the last time I was there.

    Oh how I miss Pret A Manger. Although they're pre-made, they're made fresh each day on site! (Any leftovers are taken to soup kitchens later in the day.)

    My favorite was crawfish and rocket (arugula), but then there were so many I loved......and the coffee was a relative bargain.

  6. #5
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    i didn't know they had any in the US. i wish they could buy out a big fast food chain and replace every location with a sando shop.

  7. #6
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    i lived on pret when i lived in the uk 8 years ago. it's nice to see they're now organic and gmo free too. and true, pre-made sandwiches are more of a british thing that make most north americans a little uneasy, but i think once they get a taste of this stuff, they'll be hooked. i was. yay pret!

    and they have a lot of shops in nyc too: http://www.pret.com/find_a_pret/usa.htm

    so jealous. will it ever come to vancouver?

  8. #7
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    I don't think the premade thing is the problem. I think the problem might be choice.

    In NYC we go into delis and can have lots of premade choices at the salad bar, which has foods like soup, teriyaki chicken, and lots of other foods besides salads. And you can buy the food by weight. So Pret fits here, especially in midtown, where there are lots of office workers. But in the rest of the US, I think a lot of people say they want choice- but the 'choices' they want are fairly narrow and defined by fast food and personal experience. I looked at the menu for Pret and to me it looks fantastic. But I think a lot of Americans would find it both too adventurous (to our tastes, many of the sandwich combinations are pretty odd, and don't involve beef) and not varied enough (no enchiladas, no burgers, no fries, no shakes). I can see Pret being big in major cities in areas close to workers who are a bit more adventurous in their eating and willing to spend some extra cash for good food. But those people are still a distinct minority in the US, in a country where Rachael Ray can be thought of as a domestic goddess.

  9. #8
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    I dunno. Chipotle seems to be a big success, and they don't have much choice at all.

  10. #9
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    True- but they offer stuff that most Americans are used to. Like beef, chicken, and beans. Plus the portions are huge. I'm not sure most people in the heartland realize that prawn is the same as shrimp, or want a sandwich with shrimp on it. Could they learn to like those flavors? Heck, yeah. But there's a reason Chipotle doesn't serve dishes with chocolate-based moles, or with squash blossoms, or with Mexican quesos, or that it offers sour cream as an option. Why? because it's catering to the American market.

    I haven't gone to any of the Prets in NYC. It would be interesting to see if the food has been Americanized or not. That wouldn't be a bad thing- in Japan, chocolate is made for Japanese tastes, and people buy shrimp and octopus chips as snacks. They even have teeny-tiny crabs cooked in sweet soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, that are sold as bar snacks- I don't think whole crunchy crabs complete with little beady eyeballs would go over big here, any more than regionalisms like Old Bay Seasoning on potato chips is everyone's cup of tea. But I could be wrong.

    I suspect that Americans like the illusion of choice, not the reality of it. Case in point- the Food Network underwent a purging last year and got rid of its most innovative chefs. They were replaced by people like Paula Dean and Rachel Ray, who offer good, unchallenging food that anyone can make. Or if you look at mosy family restaurants, you have tons of food on the menus- and most of it boils down to simple bar food with interchangeable names. You'll find chicken, pork and beef, with some shrimp (battered and fried or served in a butter and lemon sauce), tomatoes, peppers, potatoes (fried or baked), and a little mild-tasting fish here and there. Very little lamb, no mutton, only Alaskan king crab (which is mild and almost tasteless compared to other varieties), and a limited number of vegetables. Bread is used as a binder for almost everything. Most sauces are relatively low in spices. Cheddar and American cheese are pretty much the ony cheeses found on menus, except for blue cheese in dressing. Corn is used in oils, sodas, and pretty much everything, including as a preservative. See "The Omnivore's Dilemma" for a discussion of the limited diet most Americans eat, especially compared to many other parts of the world. Foods that don't fit into that limited taste palate generally don't get wide acceptance, except in larger cities or as regional tastes.

  11. #10
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    mmmm, i love pret. i wish we had them in SF. i didn't know they had recipes-- thanks!

    ok, momentary hijack because i know this thread isn't about the food network, but um, can i just say "semi-homemade"? because, eeew.

    especially as compared to scary sandra, and despite the relentless perkiness and catch phrases, i actually don't mind rachel ray. i think she does a pretty good job of trying to introduce people to different kinds of flavors and techniques in a way that is friendly for people who aren't as comfortable in the kitchen. also, i've tried quite a few of her recipes and they've all turned out pretty delicious. though of course they take longer than 30 minutes.

    i'm not saying she's Thomas Keller. I'm just saying, it could be worse, and worse comes on right after Barefoot Contessa in the evenings...


 

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