Pret a Manger really, really wants to come to your house
Pret a Manger has added dinner to its lockdown office cosplay kit by rolling out “Dinners by Pret”, whose trial it announced this summer. The fast-casual menu keeps it classic by playing fast and loose with international cultures’ food, pairing a Thai red curry sauce with Chinese hoisin aubergine. It has also introduced an item called “Lasagne Mac and Cheese,” which under closer inspection is lasagna, just with rigatoni instead of lasagne, the pasta sheets. There are also focaccia “pizzas,” which is focaccia, with tomato and cheese on top. Italians mad at food, assemblare?
The dinner roll-out, which is available for delivery from 30 London stores, is the latest piece in a puzzle best described as an office culture cosplay kit. Pret just launched bags of its retail coffee into Waitrose, with a visual campaign focussed on quasi-pastoral slow filter brewing; everything Pret is not. It previously launched its more faithful, constipation-defying coffee subscription in which diehard filter coffee fans could get 155 cups for £20 per month in store. But that was at the heart of the summer “get back to the office” death drive, pushed out by the government and its faithful newspapers, in which treating the daily flat white like a rail season ticket makes complete, if confounding, sense.
Retail coffee beans and this new dinner service make less sense, because they are predicated on the fact that people just absolutely [expletive] love Pret. People do absolutely [expletive] love Pret, but as a segment of Another Day at the Office, Chums, in which a 99p filter costs 99p and might be free from a random, and yet, not random, act of kindness; in which the crayfish and avocado with no bread is a personality type; in which everyone has their local Pret even though, once again, every Pret is choreographed to be near identical. Bringing its maroon-monogrammed napkins and cheerily copy-written coffee blends into the home might be exactly what it now needs to survive, especially if lockdowns continue, but, being real: Whomst among Londoners is going to order “pigs and blankets mac and cheese” for a Pret-sponsored night in with the Filofax?
And in other news...
- If Pret a Manger dinner’s not appealing, here are some superb meal kits from London restaurants.
- A regular at Southgate Road’s De Beauvoir Deli sought solace in gazpacho and sparkling wine after leaving / being sacked from prominent government post on Friday.
- Herald the return of the best dishes Eater writers and editors eat each week.
- The most exciting pizza in London is doubling up, as ASAP Pizza moves into Lyle’s, in Shoreditch, every Friday and Saturday until the end of the current coronavirus lockdown.
- Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala’s Cafe Spice Namaste, a stalwart of Indian dining in London, will relocate at the end of January 2021. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet:
Priti Patel drinks Forest Road.— Kieran (@KieranSpeirs) November 14, 2020