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Pret a Manger coming to Back Bay

C. Hamster Apr 10, 2012 09:56 AM

I developed a crush on Pret a Manger during my travels to London and have always been jealous that they are all over Manhattan but none here in Boston.

Well Devra First disclosed a couple of days ago that one is coming to us soon ...

And the Globe has an article today that says that they are coming to the old Border's site on Boylston and Clarendon. SCORE!

I can't wait.

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  1. L2k RE: C. Hamster Apr 10, 2012 11:23 AM

    We got all excited when we saw our first Pret in NYC, after also falling in love with them in London, but the menu isn't nearly the same.

    The food is excellent, and the service was good in NYC, so we still prefer it to it's competition, but it's not quite London.

    Now, get me Chop't in Boston and I'll be in heaven.

    1 Reply
    1. re: L2k
      C. Hamster RE: L2k Apr 10, 2012 11:37 AM

      No crayfish and rocket sammies, I know .... but still a great addition to the lunch options around here.

      Wasnt there a rumor that Chop't was coming up here?

    2. b
      Blumie RE: C. Hamster Apr 10, 2012 12:11 PM

      Funny, I just had a Pret sandwich for lunch today in NYC (classic tomato and cheddar). Looking forward to having locations by both of my offices.

      1. Boston_Otter RE: C. Hamster Apr 10, 2012 02:27 PM

        I loved Pret in London, very much look forward to it coming to Boston!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Boston_Otter
          ParisLady RE: Boston_Otter Apr 10, 2012 05:23 PM

          I am so excited to hreat that Pret is coming to Boston! I have only eaten in London. Glad to know the NYC is good.

        2. g
          gourmaniac RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 08:41 AM

          Can Pret fans educate me? The one time I had a sandwich there in London, I don't recall it being all that. I used to like the small mom and pop shops there for such sandwiches (shrimp salad, curry chicken, etc). Also, I really liked to vanishing English breakfast stand (eggs, beans sausage spam and spam) but these have probably all become Pret a Mangers. What am I missing?

          3 Replies
          1. re: gourmaniac
            Science Chick RE: gourmaniac Apr 11, 2012 09:16 AM

            My only experience with them was this past year at Heathrow. Actually a refreshing change of pace compared to other airport options, with *very* fresh pre-packaged sandwiches featuring locally sourced very high quality ingredients. Also extremely fresh and ripe fruit salads and other salady things. The food is chemical-free and handmade. Much healthier options than at other places, and they donate all daily unsold items to local charities feeding the hungry, which I think is great.

            1. re: gourmaniac
              chickendhansak RE: gourmaniac Apr 11, 2012 09:42 AM

              I would agree that with the many high-quality sandwich options in Boston, Pret is going to be nothing remotely special. Buying pre-prepared sandwiches for lunch is very common in Britain and Pret have simply finessed the product -- and made it more expensive of course.

              Ultimately the quality is still secondary to the main goal, to be able to pick up something pre-prepared and get away quickly. Hence these places are ideal in train stations, airports and around busy workplaces, but are not exactly exponents of the highest sandwich art.

              1. re: chickendhansak
                gourmaniac RE: chickendhansak Apr 11, 2012 10:04 AM

                OK... I see the train station/airport idea. The enthusiasm reminded me of when Wagamamma came to town, which i still haven't tried. I rather have one of those Bento box stands in the japanese train stations, or a wurst, pretzel and beer stand as in Germany.

            2. C. Hamster RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 10:15 AM

              Pret will be head and shoulders above the other take-away sandwich options in Copley in both quality and price. Except for the former Croissant du Jour now renamed in park Sq. building.

              They may be prepacked but they are really fresh and tasty. They do salads and soups, breakfast, etc.

              Anyone know if they sell the cheddar and pickle sandwich in the US?

              2 Replies
              1. re: C. Hamster
                gourmaniac RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 11:17 AM

                Better than Bacco?

                1. re: gourmaniac
                  C. Hamster RE: gourmaniac Apr 11, 2012 12:19 PM

                  I think Bacco's sammies are too spendy and there's only 3 or 4 types; usually only one I would eat. If it's still there.

                  OT: that new sushi place isn't bad ...

              2. MC Slim JB RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 10:24 AM

                It's nothing extraordinary, just good, fresh, reasonably priced, and fast. As long as you're not expecting the UK menu, I think it's a very good fast-food option, much better than getting some pink-slime national chain burger.

                I haven't seen that cheddar and pickle sandwich in Manhattan, where I've had most of my Pret lunches.

                My standard was egg salad and arugula, a sandwich I always found a dubious proposition at most delis but never had a problem with at Pret. Their approximation of a banh mi wasn't bad, either, though roast beef on a baguette was generally better.


                1. g
                  Gabatta RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 10:50 AM

                  I really enjoyed the cookies someone brought into a recent meeting. The sandwiches were fine, but not that memorable or noticeably better than any other catered 'business meeting' type sandwich I have had. I like the idea that it is not processed like other fast food options.

                  1. C. Hamster RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 12:23 PM

                    While I'm still excited to have the thing right in my building, I am not saying the place is extraordinary. Just tasty, fresh, locally sourced, varied, fast and clean. But at the end of the day, they are just sandwiches wrapped in plastic.

                    Still good news for our little slice of Boston, where theHazMat team is called to Burger King all too often ...

                    1. b
                      Blumie RE: C. Hamster Apr 11, 2012 12:33 PM

                      What i like about Pret sandwiches, in addition, as others have pointed out, to their being fresh, tasty and fast, is that they're sandwiches, not 1,000 calorie meals stuffed into bread. I'm not dissing the latter, but typically I just want an old-school-sized sandwich. (Or, to put it differently, although I may crave the 1,000 calorie sandwich, I know that I'll be better off eating something more reasonable.) If the calorie counts posted at the NYC locations are accurate, most Pret sandwiches are in the 400-500 calorie range.

                      Their salads are very good, too. And although, at about $8 each, they too are pricey, they're much bigger than they look stuffed into the boxes in which Pret sells them. I keep a large bowl in my desk drawer in my NY office specifically so I can toss the salads I get from Pret. (Good luck trying to toss their salads in that little box!) And Pret offers chopsticks, which is how I prefer to eat salads. (Why? No idea!)

                      At the end of the day, Pret is another fast food chain. So a comparison with "slow" food is a little apples and oranges. But it is my favorite fast food lunch in NY.

                      1. g
                        Gabatta RE: C. Hamster Aug 23, 2012 05:07 AM

                        Did this fall through?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Gabatta
                          ChocolateMilkshake RE: Gabatta Aug 23, 2012 07:02 AM

                          They hope to be open by Mid-November according to this recent article.

                          1. re: ChocolateMilkshake
                            C. Hamster RE: ChocolateMilkshake Aug 23, 2012 11:36 AM

                            I'll believe it when I see any signs of work being done. Its sorta abandoned at this point.

                            1. re: C. Hamster
                              ChocolateMilkshake RE: C. Hamster Aug 23, 2012 11:58 AM

                              Actually there are construction workers going out of the space every day, but whether it's for Pret a Manger or the other stores opening there, I couldn't tell you.

                              1. re: ChocolateMilkshake
                                C. Hamster RE: ChocolateMilkshake Aug 23, 2012 12:33 PM

                                I work in the building and havent seen anyone in the future Pret location for months.

                                On the other hand, the Athleta store is finished and open

                                But its nice to know they havent abandoned their plans. Tnx for posting that link.

                        2. p
                          ParisLady RE: C. Hamster Aug 24, 2012 04:36 PM

                          The old Borders site should be quite a good thing: Walgreens Emporium. I will be thrillrd if Pret opens up shop there and maybe YoSushi? More Europe in Boston! One can only hope :) Thanks C. Hamster!

                          1. u
                            Uncle Yabai RE: C. Hamster Aug 26, 2012 06:57 AM

                            Crap-a-Manger? Oh boy. Why not a "local" Crap chain instead, like the Pain? Or how about a Finale? (Just kidding!).

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Uncle Yabai
                              Boston_Otter RE: Uncle Yabai Aug 26, 2012 09:49 AM

                              They sell high quality sandwiches and salads... how's that crap again?

                              1. re: Boston_Otter
                                Science Chick RE: Boston_Otter Aug 26, 2012 01:09 PM

                                Hear-hear, otter!

                                1. re: Science Chick
                                  C. Hamster RE: Science Chick Aug 26, 2012 04:59 PM

                                  Here here is right.

                                  They are very much a cut above the local chains if they ate anywhere close to the quality of the London and NYC stores.

                                  2 pains located within 3 blocks of the new pret by the way.

                                2. re: Boston_Otter
                                  Uncle Yabai RE: Boston_Otter Aug 26, 2012 06:15 PM

                                  Some of the blandest, flavorless, most overhyped junk food passing off as "healthy" this side of McDonald's. Have you checked the salt content on some of that stuff? And why do you think they have a dozen types of potato chips *right by the checkout counters*? Because they are good for you and carry low margins?

                                  1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                    Boston_Otter RE: Uncle Yabai Aug 26, 2012 07:54 PM

                                    Thank you for your opinion. Other people have theirs as well.

                              2. k
                                Kitamonster RE: C. Hamster Aug 29, 2012 10:22 AM

                                C Hamster you and I must work in the same building. Never been to a Pret - how would you compare (price and selection) to the Rebecca's in 500 Boylston?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Kitamonster
                                  C. Hamster RE: Kitamonster Aug 29, 2012 11:58 AM


                                  Pret and Rebeccas are like night and day. I hate Rebeccas ... Just to get that out there.

                                  Pret's stuff is prepackaged that day but very fresh and interesting combinations. Tasty food. They have salads, fruit, Soups, breeakfast and other stuff as well.

                                  Their sandwiches are on sandwich loaf bread or French bread.

                                  The menu in the US isn't as interesting as the London stores.

                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                    Science Chick RE: C. Hamster Aug 29, 2012 01:25 PM

                                    Yeah, I love that crayfish/rocket sandwich! I wonder why they don't make the same ones here?

                                    1. re: Science Chick
                                      C. Hamster RE: Science Chick Aug 29, 2012 01:33 PM

                                      That's my favorite one too!!

                                2. g
                                  Gordough RE: C. Hamster Aug 31, 2012 09:57 AM

                                  I just noticed a "Coming Soon: Pret" sign on a storefront at the corner of Franklin and Oliver Streets in Post Office Square (specifically the signs were on the Oliver St. side) . Perhaps a second location? Work is ongoing at the site. I believe it is the Verizon building. Its directly across from where a single food truck has been appearing each day as of the last month or so.

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