Pressed, 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.