Croissant Critique: Pret a Manger

Being a consummate chocolate professional, I take my research very seriously. As a result, my research concerning chocolate croissants in on-going–there are always new cafes, new restaurants, new coffee shops opening in Boston and beyond that are offering these treats up for public consumption. I feel it is my duty to explore these new offerings in order to properly inform the chocolate consumers that make up the public at large.

My latest endeavor was to check out the fairly new Pret a Manger on Boylston Street. The UK-based international prepared foods chain opened their very first Boston locations this past November, and the 507 Boylston location just happens to be in the old Borders corner spot.

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Having never been to a Pret before, I  didn’t have any particular expectations when I first entered, but found the place to be extremely reminiscent of some of the carry-out food establishments I saw in Germany when I traveled to Europe in 2011. There are refrigerated cases and displays containing freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other lunch items on the right side when you first enter, and a simple counter display where you can find their selection of cookies, brownies, and pastries. Their goal is apparently to make sure that everyone is helped within 90 seconds, so my simple order of “1 pain au chocolat, please” was carried out deftly, and I was soon sitting at a window counter seat with my croissant.

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The croissant was decently sized, and a beautiful golden color, and it definitely was fresh as it was ever so slightly still warm. The texture of the pastry part was as I prefer–buttery, flakey, with a certain softness. The price was very reasonable–only $1.99. The only thing that was disappointing is that there was not quite enough chocolate in it–I had more than a few bites that did not contain any chocolate at all.

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They take freshness seriously at Pret!

Overall, it was a good croissant–being assured freshness is a really important aspect to the enjoyment of a good pain au chocolat. Though it is not at all related to my enjoyment of the pastry, I did love the fact that Pret has receptacles for trash, paper, and plastic recycling, something else that reminded me very strongly of Germany, as they are very good about recycling over there.