Saturday, 24 August 2013

[L16.4] Mediterranean Food Bar (Mediterranean) vs Pret a Manger

Mediterranean Food Bar's freshly made to order Mediterranean Wrap was up against Pret's pre-prepared Falafel & Halloumi hot wrap. At stake was a place against Leather Lane favourite Al-Kouther.

Mediterranean Food Bar offer two different types of wraps (Moroccan or Mediterranean) in two different sizes (Medium or Large). To give MFB the best opportunity to pick up points on Cost we've always gone for their medium wraps but after visiting MFB a few times now we're none the wiser as to which one is their Moroccan or Mediterranean wrap and we don't think they do either. It wasn't long ago that their Moroccan wrap was up against the King of Falafel's and on that day we were given buttery, spinach paratha style flatbreads from both parties. So when we ordered the Mediterranean wrap  we were expecting a floury khobez. We didn't get one. In fact, a similar thing happened previously:

15th April - Moroccan Wrap - Received Khobez
9th June - Mediterranean Wrap - Received Khobez
1st August - Moroccan Wrap - Received Paratha
Today - Mediterranean Wrap - Received Paratha

God knows which is which. Our advice: order the Mediterranean one because it's cheaper.

It was another solid effort from MFB. There was a good range of salad which sets them apart from other vendors on Leather Lane. Black olives the main ingredient of note. After being offered, we went for 'all the sauces and salads' and were expecting a decent hit of spicy sauce as a result but the wrap fell short in that area. The falafels were a bit soft and not hugely fresh. This sort of thing is more noticeable since Chick's entrance on Leather Lane showing everyone the value in freshly frying them.

We weren't too impressed with Pret a Manger's effort last time round. It couldn't have been that we caught them on a bad day since their products are produced to be scarily identical. Perhaps they caught us on a bad day or perhaps had high expectations given the quality of their other products but either way we weren't looking forward to going back. 

One of our criticisms before that was the wrap tasted the same the whole way through and that the tomato sauce was too dominating above all other flavours. Whilst that may still be true, we really enjoyed this sweet tomato sauce today. As the product is sat in a heated cabinet for some time there isn't much salad in the wrap which is fair enough. Where they may lose marks in salad they make up for in being able to offer the only hot product of the competition. Grilled Aubergines and halloumi were a couple of good different textures although we couldn't really taste either through the sauce.

The wrap used a tortilla which usually has us seething but for Pret somehow this works. Possibly due to the amount of hours that the wrap sits in the hot cabinet the tortilla is able to dry out and crisp up, winning points on mouthfeel.

It was a closely fought match but Pret have just sneaked it thanks to their lightning quick service time. They'll be facing Al Kouther in the quarter finals.

Winner: Pret a Manger

Mediterranean Food Bar can be found at 21 Leather Lane.
PrĂȘt a Manger can be found at 10 Leather Lane.

Previous Scores

Mediterranean Food Bar - Mediterranean
Heats - 75.5

PrĂȘt a Manger
Heats - 47.75


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