I make no secret of my dislike of Pret. I never want to spend a single penny in one of their stores again. Once, they offered a service, a place to buy lunch. Now they own lunch. No high street, junction or boutique village is complete without one. I don’t like it.
So the challenge is here, a challenge I have set myself so I don’t sound like an A-Grade hypocrite. This week for lunch, my task is to avoid all chains. Simple, you say. Well, I work on Oxford Street, which literally floats in a sea of brands outpricing the competition to the point where a Boots appears every one hundred metres. My saving grace? – Boots no 7 is always within reach.
By the way, this isn’t a food blog though I do spend an inordinate amount of time talking about food. This might have something to do with the fact that I am a man. Or the fact that I have hollow legs. Or, more likely, I am driven by basic needs. I never said I was particularly sophisticated.
Today, at lunch, as part of the first day of my challenge, I went here:
Where? Banh Mi Bay
When? 12.45, Monday. Eager lunchers, mostly male of hollowed leg.
What? Vietnamese food presented in nice little white boxes.
Fit for a puppet? Yes. The satay was healthy though a little bland in taste. Summer rolls were more pleasant and wolfed down.
Chain-free success? Well, almost. Banh Mi Bay have a restaurant in Holborn. Though this one is a cafe – right?