With only a few days until Christmas I still wasn't feeling particularly festive and after seeing a few Instagrams of the Pret veggie offering I decided to give this Christmas sandwich thing a go. The veggie ones seemed to score quite badly in the reviews I'd read but I think it's unfair to compare them to their meatier counterparts - for those of us who don't like or don't eat meat for whatever reason the veggie options are definitely welcome and I don't think it's fair for a meat-eater to compare a vegetable sandwich to one filled with four different types of meat...The tenuously Christmas-themed product of the week goes to... pic.twitter.com/ROv0QeM8KX— Lily LipSleigh (@LilyLippy) November 17, 2015
I work in the City so pretty much every lunch offering is in easy reach and thankfully the week preceding Christmas has been quiet so far so it's been almost acceptable to fall into a bread-included "hey my keyboard is suddenly resembling a soft, tempting pillow" type carb-coma every afternoon. Itsu just doesn't do that to me but Christmas comes but once a year for a reason...
1. Prêt Veggie Christmas Lunch - £3.25
Containing roasted chunks of butternut squash, nutty Christmas pesto and spicy rocket with a spoonful of yogurt mayo dressing and a sprinkling of crispy onions on malted bread. This sandwich packs a rather hefty calorie punch of 525 calories so it had better be worth it. For my first Christmas sandwich, my exceptions were low but I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Or maybe it was just the novel joy of eating bread for lunch which in this day and age feels sadly rebellious. Top marks for the butternut squash and the nutty pesto tasted good too. I'd forgotten that Pret puts rocket in every. single. sandwich but can forgive it here as the peppery flavour nicely offset the richer ingredients. Half a mark added for the charity donation.
2. Eat Festive Roast Roots - £3.79
This square-shaped bloomer sandwich contains roast butternut squash, chargrilled carrot slices, spinach, apple and pumpkin seed stuffing, cranberry sauce and low fat mayonnaise. At 480 calories its slightly lighter than Pret's offering but only slightly. I had higher exceptions for this sandwich and I'm pleased to say it met them - the veg was tasty and I felt like I was maybe getting some goodness needed to help fend off all the office germs going around at the moment. The sandwich wasn't particularly Christmassy but it was huge and filling and I guess Christmas and vegetarianism are not the easiest pals in the first place. The highlight of this sandwich was the super soft, seeded bread which made it seem slightly posher than the Pret offering, if a bit messier to eat. I also love Eat's Christmas packaging this year.
3. Starbucks Christmas Veggie Feast Flatbread - £3.95
Starbucks offers a hot flatbread rather than a traditional sandwich. Filled with chestnut puree, apricots and stuffing, roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, seasoned gravy and fried onions. Surprisingly, this is the lowest calorie offering of the lot at 455 calories but is the most expensive. To me, this tasted the most Christmassy due to the chestnuts. I usually hate gravy (wet food, no!) and was apprehensive about it here but the sandwich wasn't soggy and it wasn't an overwhelming taste. I liked that the flatbread was hot because I usually opt for hot food for lunch and sandwiches usually make me think more of summer picnics than food for the middle of winter. One warning with this - the mushroom flavour is quite strong so if you're not a mushroom fan then it's one to avoid but, again, I enjoyed this more than I was expecting to and the flatbread was a nice change after two days of regular bread.
Have you tried any festive sandwiches this year? Are you sick of Christmas food already or do you wish it could be Christmas everyday?