Friday, 23 July 2010

Battle of the Sandwich Shops

Infusion (611 London Road) vs The Pantry (651 London Road)
DE24 8UQ

On London Road in the Alvaston area of Derby, there are two sandwich shops in close proximity of one another – and of two business parks (three if you count Pride Park), so they’re an obvious choice at lunch for workers in the area. There are people who swear by The Pantry just as there are people swearing by Infusion. Question is – which one’s the best?

Let’s compare a few things...

I like my cobs/baps crusty, and I also really like coronation chicken, and I really want some salad to go with it (no onions, though – can’t stand raw onion).

Infusion: £1.95
The Pantry: £1.90

So obviously, The Pantry comes out on top as it is 5p cheaper. It only works out a 5p difference because of crusty bread and the salad – The Pantry charge extra for both, and have an extra charge for “special” fillings. Infusion class coronation chicken as a standard filling, don’t charge extra for salad or the crusty bread. If you, on the other hand, just want a plain soft bap with ham and salad, The Pantry is 10p cheaper (£1.50 instead of £1.60). Four weeks of having a 10p cheaper bap will save you £2, and it all adds up.


Looking at baked potatoes, it’s a different story altogether.

Let’s say I fancy one with tuna & sweetcorn mayo with some salad. Butter? Yeah, why not.

Infusion: £2.45
The Pantry: £2.80

That’s a 35p difference! I seem to recall getting fewer bits of sweetcorn from Infusion, but who cares? They have a proper potato baking oven, so their potatoes come out with that lovely baked potato skin. They also make sure they have them prepared, so when you come in, you don’t have to wait around for it to warm up.

At The Pantry, you have to wait for them to microwave it, and the skin isn’t much different to that of a boiled potato. There is no information what kind of mayo is used, whereas Infusion have it down as “light mayo”. As mayo is one of the most calorific things ever, getting the lighter option is a definite plus.

Spotted in their window that Infusion have a five star hygiene rating, but Derby City Council isn’t listed yet on the Scores on the Doors website. However, did manage to track down a PDF of all the hygiene scores in the area on the council’s website. The Pantry’s is listed as four stars, but they haven’t chosen to display their certificate. (Hey, a four-star rating still bragworthy!)

Which one gives you the friendliest service? Some insist one of them have grumpy people and that the one they go to is all smiles – and some people say the exact same about the other one! Guess it’s just down to personal preference and how you treat people.

My personal preference? Has to be Infusion. They have a bigger menu (granted, The Pantry has a much bigger selection of cakes!) and it’s easy to find out the cost (The Pantry is all over the place), and it looks nicer. Infusion also have a website, so you can ogle the menu beforehand and decide on what you fancy. They also do menu deals and a loyalty card – and they even know to hold the onions...

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