Mack loves sandwiches. A grilled cheese is his go-to snack, and while Quizno’s and Subway are his default quick-serve choices, he is partial to the hot sandwiches at MRKT. So of course, when he heard Press’d, Edmonton’s newest sandwich purveyor opened up in Edmonton City Centre, he was excited to see where they would fall in his personal demarcation.
I had wanted to slip a Press’d gift card into Mack’s Christmas stocking, but they didn’t (and still don’t) offer gift cards. I resorted to making him a coupon similar to the ones produced by grade school children.
Who doesn’t love coupons?
At any rate, Mack “redeemed” his coupon last Monday, when we met up at Press’d for lunch.
The sleek interior makes it hard to miss – they did a great job of transforming the formerly drab cafe into an inviting space – clean white and green, accented with stained wood.
The menu features 19 different sandwiches, many more likely to be found in a bistro than a food court (the Hot Tamale is particularly creative, featuring black forest ham, jalapeno jack cheese, scrambled egg, banana peppers, green peppers and hot wing sauce). Prices range from $3.79-$5.79 for a small and $6.79-$8.79 for a full sandwich. Mack opted for the Yahoo ($7.79) with roast beef, swiss cheese, mushrooms, red onion and mayo, while I chose the Golden Bear ($8.79), with smoked chicken, baked brie, roasted apples, spinach and sweet fig jam.
Press’d prides itself on its made-to-order philosophy, including slicing their meats and vegetables daily, and emphasizes the fact that they bake their own bread (it’s hard to miss, given the racks of flour stacked front and centre). The focaccia was noticeably fresh – great crumb, and having only been gently “pressed” (instead of flatted, Panini-style), its texture was retained.
Other than the bread, however, we were a bit underwhelmed – the sandwiches were okay, but nothing special. While both the portion size and prices were comparable to other restaurants offering “upscale” sandwiches, both of us knew we would be heading to Elm Cafe or MRKT next time. There was something about our experience that lacked the premium price tag they were commanding – though the contained interior is chic, the bustle of mall foot traffic firmly reminded us that we were in food court territory. And the presentation of the sandwiches reminded Mack of the types of food picked up at an airport – bare bones presentation on paper-covered plastic baskets. We didn’t feel like we really received value for our dollar, and at the end of the day, nothing about our meal – food or service – that really stood out.
So while there are lots of reasons to respect Press’d – their commitment to environmental practices (using eco-friendly take-out containers), and using gluten-free meats when possible – there really aren’t any compelling reasons for us to return.
Unit #29, 10200 102 Avenue (Edmonton City Centre West)