I think I’m a bit late on the Pressed bandwagon. Kelly wrote about it two months ago and her collection of photos puts mine to shame. Lana has posted about her three or four trips in a similarly detailed fashion. And I normally don’t do reviews. So, why write about it?
Well, for one, the Americano. It’s the best that I’ve had in the city. The Pressed Americano has ruined me for my Monday-to-Friday coffee from that-local-chain-that-you-all-know-and-maybe-love. I can drink this Americano black. I don’t think that I ever thought that I would be a black coffee drinker, but there you have it. I genuinely wish that we had moved to Centretown, so that I could be in closer proximity to their espresso.
For another thing, there’s a strong balance of homemade and let’s-not-fuss-too-much here. There’s something really fantastic about having EVERYTHING homemade, down to your mayonnaise. I can appreciate the level of commitment that this requires; as someone who has made pumpkin puree from scratch for pumpkin cheesecake, it takes tenacity and a good amount of heart. And most of what you will find here is made from scratch: The effort and love that goes into the smoked chicken, the homemade aioli, the hand-cut sweet potato chips, is completely appreciated in every bite. They know what they can do and they do it very, very well. Frankly, I love the fact that their bread is ACE baguette, because it’s accessible, and it’s not the same bread that every other sandwich shop in this city uses. In an era in which handmade is becoming the trend, it’s nice to see balance. It’s sane-making.
Also, the brunch. You know by now that I’m a sucker for good brunch. This Sunday, Pressed started serving a selection of waffles. I love that the waffles play on the idea of ‘pressed’, the sandwich press, the waffle iron, there’s a certain amount of imagery at play here that works well, if you care about that sort of thing. If you don’t, let me say this: The waffles are delicious. The ones that we ordered were perfectly cooked, and came with an apple compote, marscapone cheese, lemon zest and maple syrup. It was a great balance of yeasty, doughy, creamy, sweet and fresh. What I’m most excited for, however, are the savoury ones. I have this thing, about brunch, where no matter how much I want pancakes, or french toast, or a waffle, I will inevitably end up ordering eggs benedict or an omlette. Salty, smokey flavours win over sweet. Pressed has five waffle options at the moment, two of which are savoury: Waffles Benedict comes with poached eggs, in-house smoked bacon, and hollandaise sauce, while The Hangover sounds like waffle poutine, with its cheese curds and gravy.
Lastly, it’s the atmosphere. It reminds me a bit of Edgar, if only because Jeff (Pressed’s owner) and Marysol are both incredibly passionate about what they do and are involved in the relationship between the diner and the kitchen. Pressed also gives me the same uncontrollable giddy, happy feeling that I get when I walk into Edgar, and that same resigned sadness when leaving. Luckily, I know that I’ll be back soon.