Pret a Manger Murray Hill

[CLOSED at this location]

For a joint with such a fancy name, you’d expect a little more, I don’t’ know, flair or something. Of course the rumor is that the Pret chain is actually owned by either McDonald’s or Starbucks depending on who’s telling it. Since their cash register folks are called ”baristas” (the same as Starbucks), I’m going to go with the latter. Being sick and tired of the native fair, I first actually enjoyed Pret in London–not realizing that they had stores stateside. I was later informed by Ms. Hipster that I really should be stripped of my title for being such an ignorant jackass, but that’s a story for another day. Meanwhile, since then Prets have popped up all over the city with their sparse, but efficient, display of pre-made sandwiches and salads in the refrigerated wall. This one in particular has very little seating, and is constantly crowded with desperate workers in this somewhat barren area for foodstuffs. The best part about the place, though, is their attentive and friendly staff who always keep the lines moving and actually say ”thank you” and wish you a good day. I guess that’s what happens when you give workers a health plan. In any case, I’m completely addicted to their tuna and cucumber sandwich on a nice crunchy baguette. The chicken and mozzarella sandwich is also quite tasty. While the stuff may not be super gourmet, or up-to-the-minute fresh, it’ll certainly do in a pinch, and makes that crap Subway sandwich taste like dog food. [MF]

287 Madison Ave.