Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good to go

The alarm clock interrupts my recurring dream, as I've instructed it to, at a quarter past 7. I need to get to the office early so that I can leave late, much as I've been doing for the past month. Except for breakfast foods and a rather impressive collection of condiments, my fridge is barren. Grocery shopping is on the long list of things I ought to do: I love cooking, greatly enjoy food stores, and firmly believe that taking my lunch to work is the best way to support my restaurant habit during the weekends. Sometimes the dustbin of good intentions runneth over.

Ever since it opened a few months ago, Pret A Manger has been my go-to place for freshly made lunch food. Conveniently located on top of the 18th street entrance of the Farragut West metro stop, the DC outpost of the London chain is fully stocked with sandwiches (alas, no salads or sushi) first thing in the morning - you can run in and out in 3 minutes, with a snack and a proper lunch in tow (no more cash only delis!) aided by fast and friendly cashiers. There is limited seating, but the location is more of a showcase for the food than a place to dawdle.

After trying every pret sandwich (sold whole or in halves) in the DC store, I've found myself ordering the Organic Egg Salad, Spinach, Parmegiano & the Balsamic Chicken and avocado again and again. The chicken is firm and aromatic, with the avocado cutting into the acidity of the basamic and providing an alternative to globs of mayo. The egg salad has made me long for picnics with every bite, and the spinach is a pleasant surprise. The bacon on the chicken and bacon and the turkey club speaks to the quality of the ingredients at Pret - well cured, smokey and crunchy, even several hours later.

The breakfast baguettes (yes, sometimes the fridge is completely empty) are a great alternative to the egg product options at fast food places - the organic egg and roasted tomato is restaurant quality, and the cream cheese, tomato and basil is an interesting take on the caprese. For a snack, I've become a fan of the Low Fat Yoga Bunny Pot - yogurt on top of julienned apples, dried cranberries, raisins, and roasted almonds. I am not sure how it relates to yoga or bunnies, but I try not to let marketing get in the way of my hunger, particularly mid-afternoon.

Now if I could only get them to toss salads a bit earlier...

Pret A Manger on Urbanspoon

Pret A Manger
1825 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

1 comment:

Miriam R. K. said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Their ingredients are generally very high-quality and I've loved every sandwich I ever had there. If you hop the pond, their original British restaurants are far better than many other sandwich places. Brits love sandwich shops, and this one is the best sandwich chain I've experienced there.