Lunch at the Pret a Manger on Infirmary Street in Leeds

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Location

Pret a Manger, 10 Infirmary Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JP.

A markerPret a Manger, -
10 Infirmary Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 2JP, UK
[get directions]

Initial Impressions

Pret a Manger is a chain of coffee shop and light eating places. The restaurants sell a range of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, baguettes, cakes, desserts, as well as some hot food, such as toasties and sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks, with an emphasis on Fair Trade and organic food.

This branch, which is on Infirmary Street in Leeds city centre, was visited mid-afternoon on a weekday and was very quiet when entered, with only a few customers. This is actually quite a small shop without much seating inside, as it is smaller than would be expected from the amount of frontage. Nearby parking is some limited on street as well as car parks, but there are many buses stopping outside the place and the train station is not far away.

Due to the time it was visited, there was not as wide a range of products as would be seen earlier in the day, especially with the hot food as very little of that was available. This is probably because all Pret a Manger food is intended to be disposed of at the end of each day, whether it is sold to customers or given to charity, rather than being kept until the next day. As a result of this, towards the end of the day the amount of food prepared and on display is reduced.

To order, selections are made from the hot cabinets and refrigerators and stands and taken to the counter, where hot drinks, cakes and breakfast pastries can be ordered. These are then paid for and, if they are not immediately ready, they will be brought over to your table, if you are eating in. Food purchased to eat in is more expensive than that bought to eat out.

There are spoons, forks, paper napkins and some condiments available from a stand just inside the door.

The Food

The drinks ordered were a 500ml bottle of Coca Cola, which was served with a cardboard cup when asked, and a Latte, which contained a shot of espresso and was also served in a cardboard cup. The Coke was chilled enough, and the coffee was hot and reasonably strong.

The first item of food was a Lebanese Chicken Flat Bread, which consisted of Lebanese flat bread, chicken breast, feta cheese, Lebanese dip, red peppers, spinach, coriander, fresh mint and lemon juice. The fillings were rolled up in the flat bread, which was then sliced in half. This dish had a somewhat sweet taste to it, and was different. The chicken was plentiful in it, and this was a bit different.

The second item was Wild Crayfish and Avocado, which is a salad of crayfish tails, half a pre-sliced and skinned avocado, salad leaves and a pot of Dijon French dressing, which was all served in a cardboard box with a clear lid. There was no cutlery included in the box, so it was necessary to collect some from the stand, which could have been inconvenient if dining out and you didn't know this. The quantity of crayfish tails was substantial, given the price, and the dressing was flavoursome and could be added in the preferred amount thanks to being in its own sealed pot. The salad leaves were fresh, and the avocado was soft and tasty.

The last item was a packet of Pret-branded Sea Salt and Organic Cider Vinegar crisps. This was a decent packet of crisps, with a taste stronger than normal salt & vinegar crisps.

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My Review

The total cost of the food including drinks was £14.60. All the food was very nice, but Pret a Manger is a bit more expensive than similar places. This is compensated by the fact that the quality of food seems higher; it certainly tastes like it is. There was also a decent amount of food in each item ordered, and the fillings hadn't been skimped on in the flatbread.

Despite the branch being quiet, with only a few people either in or visiting during the period, the staff member who was serving was very cheerful and friendly. As the drinks were being consumed on the premises, it would have been nicer for them to have been served in proper glasses, as some similar places do, rather than in cardboard cups, but this is a minor niggle. Pret a Manger is recommended for a slightly more expensive, and probably healthier, light lunch.

3 stars for Pret a Manger, Infirmary Street, Leeds

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