If only our in-game sandwiches always turned out this beautifully…

Japanese cafe chain Pronto recently launched a tie-up menu with the Pokémon franchise, with themed food and drinks and some special merch. So when our Japanese-language reporter and diehard Pokémon fan Maro was headed out for lunch, she knew just where she was going.

The Pronto Pokémon lineup consists of three drinks and four food items, which we previewed prior to their release. Since Maro hadn’t eaten lunch yet, she sadly crossed the Pikachu and Mimikyu Shadow Sneak Sweet Potato Nutty Pancake dessert off her list of options. That left the Pikachu and Pichu Kabocha Cream Pasta, the Pikachu and Charizard Flamethrower Tomato Cream Pasta, and the Pikachu, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly Picnic Sandwich for her to choose from, but this was really no choice at all. As a fan of the Pokémon games, picking the sandwich was an necessary, automatic, and instant decision.

Why? Because this distinctive-looking sandwich is a real-world version of one that you can make in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the latest mainline entries in the Pokémon video game series.

Part of the gameplay involves having picnics with your Pokémon traveling companions, during which you make sandwiches that provide buffs for your party when eaten.

Within the game, making a picture-perfect sandwich is easier said than done, as Maro’s attempt in the above screenshot shows. But even though she’d stopped into Pronto during the lunch rush, the staff put together a beautiful-looking sandwich for her!

And those mouthwatering looks were not deceiving. The lightly toasted bread had just the right amount of crispiness, which gave way to a fluffy inner layer. The paired hamburger patties were generously sized and high-quality, as were the sliced tomato, cheese, and lettuce.

▼ Yes, of course Maro’s Pikachu plushie was dining with her.

The sandwich’s sauce was both marvelous and mysterious. Pronto calls it an avocado sauce, but Maro also detected some sort of spicy elements. It wasn’t quite curry powder, and even after she’d eaten the whole thing she couldn’t identify it, but whatever it was, it was very, very good.

The Pikachu, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly Picnic Sandwich is priced at 1,870 yen (US$12.50), which, honestly, would usually be a lot for a sandwich at a casual place like Pronto. In this case, though, you’re not just getting a sandwich, but some merch too, as each of the Pokémon menu items comes with one of five acrylic character keychains, like the Pikachu/Pawmi one that Maro got.

The Pokémon drinks, meanwhile, come with one of 21 art cards…not that Maro really needed any extra incentive to add a Pikachu and Pawmi Crackling Electricity Orange Tea onto her order for 990 yen.

The dessert drink starts with an Earl Grey base that’s then joined by orange and vanilla syrups, whipped cream, blood orange zest, chocolate bit topping, and a cookie with a picture of the two Pocket Monsters it’s saluting. That might sound like a lot of different flavors, but Maro found it both sufficiently sweet and surprisingly refreshing.

It wasn’t until after she’d finished eating, though, that Maro remembered that Pronto can also make your food and drink to go. For the full Pokémon Scarlet and Violet eating experience, she should have taken her order to the park so she and her Pikachu could have an authentic Paldea region-style sandwich picnic. Luckily for her, though, the Pronto Pokémon menu is being offered until December 10, so she’s still got time to go back and get another sandwich (and another keychain).

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]