The Sandwich of No Return: Press’d

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.

Press'd

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.

Press'd

Interior

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

Yahoo

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.

Press'd

Golden Bear

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.

Press’d
Unit #29, 10200 102 Avenue (Edmonton City Centre West)
780-758-0919

10 thoughts on “The Sandwich of No Return: Press’d

  1. I agree with you. I was there a couple of months back and was not overly “wowed”, but not really upset either. The service was pleasant, but you’re right, nothing really stood out. I did like having my sandwich delivered to me while I sat at the table though.

    I had the vegetarian sandwich, which I can’t remember the name of, but I do remember that it was pretty fresh with a lot of alfalfa sprouts. Again, it was a nice sandwich, but not remarkable either. My sister had the Yahoo, I think. I had a taste of it and it was ok. The cheese was nicely melted, however.

    Anyways, I’m not sure how long Press’d has been open for, but I think as a relatively new business (?) they may need time to try out new flavors. In a sea of greasy burgers, pizza, and other fast food delights, it’s good to know there’s a somewhat healthier option available. Just maybe they need a little something to make their sandwiches a bit more impressive!

  2. I’ve been to Press’d about 6 times since they’ve opened, and I have enjoyed my meal there every time. Maybe you caught them on an off day? Try the Smoky Mountain next time – my fave.

    Their soups are really good, too. (Wisconsin Bacon Cheese is off the hook).

  3. Great review Sharon. I went to Press’d soon after it opened, was underwhelmed, and have been wondering if I was on crazy pills after reading some fairly glowing reviews elsewhere.

    It’s much better than more burgers and tacos, but I was hoping for a higher quality sandwich.

    I have been back though. And I think they’re working on their soups, which will likely entice me again.

  4. I think this is a fair review of press’d. Yea, it’s new to the scene but elm cafe executes it better. (and the soups really compliment the sandwiches to boot!) When You’re in the city center area, you should check out the viet sandwich place near scotia, it’s a change of pace from your subways and quiznos.

  5. I’ve been there once with my girlfriend back in December after we went to the downtown farmer’s market (and you snapped a behind photo of us looking at the display case of Big City Cupcakes!).
    We both agreed that while the sandwiches were good, it wasn’t anything particular special. The bread was fresh and the ingredients were good, but there wasn’t really a wow factor. Perhaps with the variety of sandwiches out there now like you mentioned, like MRKT (which by the way is overpriced, i think) the wow factor is weakened.

  6. I stopped at Press’d a couple months ago and had the Golden Bear as well. I was expecting more from the ingredient combo and like you was underwhelmed. It’s too bad they don’t offer gift certificates – I’m sure they would go over well. Love the homemade version though!

  7. I’m with you. I wasn’t overly “impress’d”, frankly. For the prices they are charging, I expect more than lunchmeat!

  8. Hey Sharon,
    I’m with you too! Great review… disappointing sandwich. I honestly don’t understand why people line up for miles at lunch time…. I had the Golden Bear, and yeah….I won’t be back.

  9. TCH – that’s a very good question. It doesn’t seem so, at least not on the website (I didn’t ask when I was there) – but perhaps you can request it?

    Ellen – you’re right, it’s a pretty good option to have in that food court. Especially one that won’t have you snoozing at 2pm!

    Jo – I am a soup fan, so I wouldn’t mind giving theirs a go some time!

    Jeff – thanks! To each their own, right? Yes, it seems like their soups are worth a try.

    Ginger – I’ve wanted to make it out to V Sandwiches for some time, but still haven’t. It’s on the list!

    FoodieMcPoon – yeah, it’s tough to be in the sandwich market with places like MRKT and Elm around. I have to say though – somehow, MRKT didn’t seem too overpriced – maybe it had to do with the decor, the presentation, or the fact that the last time I was there, it was a “hot” sandwich (roasted beef), but I thought I received value for my dollar.

    Marianne – so much potential with the Golden Bear’s composition! It was fun to make the coupons :).

    Ashley – your pun was Mack’s suggestion for the title of this post, heh.

    Lesley – the line up wasn’t so bad when we went, but I can imagine the queue on certain days (there seemed to be a lot of take out business). I’m thinking on cold days, when people in the office towers don’t want to exit the pedway system, it might be the best healthy option available.

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