- Food and Cooking
Light Lunch at the Pret a Manger on Infirmary Street in Leeds
Pret a Manger is a chain of shops selling hot and cold sandwiches, including baguettes and wraps, paninis, toasties, salads, sushi, soup, hot and cold drinks as well as cakes, desserts and sweet items with an emphasis on natural ingredients and avoiding the use of artificial preservatives and additives, in particular Fair Trade and organic produce.
This branch is on Infirmary Street in Leeds, not far from the central train station, with many bus stops on the street in front of it. There is on street parking nearby, as well as some car parks, and there are quite a few eating places not too far away. Other than the bus stops and train station there isn't much in the immediate vicinity. Although the shop has quite a long frontage, it is not as big inside as it appears, as it is quite shallow and has a limited number of tables. It is also not open on weekends. This branch was visited late on a weekday morning, just before lunch time, and was pretty empty with only a few customers present when entered, although more both came and went during the visit.
The Pret a Manger food range varies at different times of the day, and this currently had the lunch time range at the time visited. Plastic cutlery is available from a counter. Most food and cold drinks are selected from the refrigerators, and taken to the counter to pay for them, where hot drinks and crosissanterie products can be ordered.
Pret a Manger, 10 Infirmary Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2JP.
Two drinks were ordered, a Strong Latte which was a latte with an extra shot of espresso, and a 500ml bottle of Coca-Cola, which was in one of the fridges. The latte was served in a cardboard cup and the Coke with a small plastic glass. The food is pre-packaged, in the majority of cases, but made fresh daily. Latte made with one shot of espresso can be a bit weak for those who like strong coffee, so having a second shot makes it stronger.
A sandwich and a salad were chosen from the cabinets. The sandwich was The New Yorker Bloomer, which was made with seven grain bloomer bread and filled with sliced salt beef, sliced gherkins, English mustard mayo and baby leaf spinach. There was a good amount of the salt beef in the sandwich, and the ingredients were all fresh, as they were supposed to be.
The salad was the Crayfish and Avocado, which consisted of wild crayfish, half a peeled and sliced avocado, mixed salad leaves and a small sealed pot of French dressing. The avocado could have done with being a bit riper and there seemed to be a bit too much pepper, but the pepper may have been from the dressing and this was still nice, with quite a lot of crayfish.
There is an extra charge for eating in, as VAT is charged on orders in this case. The cost of the meal including drinks came to £12.89. This is higher than would be the case for fast food restaurants and some similar sandwich shops and cafes, but it is better quality than many, and undoubtedly better for you than the typical fast food place. The location is ideally situated for those using the nearby buses, and the service was quick, as would have been expected given that it was not that busy.