Pressed Sandwiches

pressedPressed, Cen­tral Square
736 Mass­a­chu­setts Ave, Cam­bridge, MA 02139 [map]

Rarely am I moti­vat­ed enough to post about food… after all, it’s some­thing I do every day (that is, eat). But, there is a newish eatery in Cen­tral Square called Pressed, which I’ve lunched at a cou­ple of times now, and I felt com­pelled to offer some obser­va­tions.

Pressed is the kind of sand­wich shop that puts all the empha­sis on detail… the inte­ri­or is dec­o­rat­ed very mod­ern, with an earthy green glow, black chalk­boards with the offer­ings, and nice light treat­ments. One odd thing that I noticed is that every­thing is brand­ed with their leafy logo – from lit­tle bags of can­dy, to bot­tled water. Think high-end McDonald’s, with­out the play­ground.

Set­ting aside the ambiance, (which I will return to lat­er), how is the food? Quite good, it turns out. I’m a fan of pani­ni-style sand­wich­es, and toast­ed bread in gen­er­al, but often times when you order a pani­ni at oth­er places, you get reg­u­lar old sub-shop ingre­di­ents pressed between way too much bread. Pressed hits the mark both in the qual­i­ty of ingre­di­ents, and bread. Their break­fast sand­wich­es are espe­cial­ly deli­cious, made with real eggs and cheeses. They serve cof­fee with the haughty brand name of Ter­rior, and it’s pret­ty tasty in hot and cold form.

So, for Pressed to spend all this ener­gy get­ting all these details cor­rect, it’s a shame they don’t put the same effort into ser­vice. I stood ungreet­ed for about 5 min­utes today, ready to order, while two employ­ees were mum­bling about the cash reg­is­ter. Then, after order­ing, and hold­ing out my $20-bill, the young man (who looked like an art-school post-grad), start­ed shuf­fling menus and look­ing up prices in silence… after what seemed like all morn­ing, he announced that my $3.75 break­fast sand­wich and large iced cof­fee would cost – $5, even. After a sec­ond of pro­cess­ing, I fig­ured out that the reg­is­ter was bro­ken. Not a big deal, it would make sense to com­mu­ni­cate this to the cus­tomer.

So, I sad­dled up at a table to flip through last week’s Week­ly Dig, and wait­ed for my break­fast. After 10 min­utes or so, I final­ly stood up, and the oth­er employ­ee, (who looked and sound­ed like he’d be more at home in a fam­i­ly din­er, behind the grille), turned and grabbed a bag from the counter, and hand­ed it to me. How long had it been sit­ting there? If I had sat there anoth­er 10 min­utes, would he have called me then?

Ser­vice is a big deal to me – even in a fast-food sand­wich shop. My pre­vi­ous two vis­its might have gone smoother, how­ev­er it’s a shame that this one has cement­ed my impres­sion.

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