Press 195: Gourmet and Affordable

Finding a gourmet meal for a reasonable price is often a difficult task, and college students are often faced with the dilemma of sacrificing quality for cost. Let’s face it, many students are jobless and often living on their own, surviving on fast food and ramen noodles.

While most St. John’s students rely on the dining halls located conveniently on campus, many are searching for a local alternative with a warm atmosphere and killer menu. On a recent weekend endeavor, I came across Press195.

Located a few miles from St. John’s by bus (the Q13) or car, Press195 has become the “talk of the town” amongst publications throughout Manhattan, spreading feedback such as 24/7’s claim, “One visit, and you will be returning.”

The New York Times raves about their belgian french fries, while Time Out NY praises their extensive sandwich menu, comprised of over 40 different sandwiches and paninis. The best part? All of their sandwiches are $10 or less, and can be paired with soups and salads during their lunch hour.

What makes these sandwiches so great? Their menu is extremely diverse, presenting everything from an Italian classic Panini (salami, provolone, and peppers) to the “#35” which combines prosciutto di parma, sliced pears, fontina cheese, arugula and aged olive oil.

There is truly something for everyone at this cozy eatery, nestled in the streets of Bayside. The menu at Press195 is broken down into seven key components: Cold press, Hot press, Belgian Fries, Starters, Salads, Burgers & Knishes.

Cold press sandwiches are presented on a lightly toasted Italian bread, and include classics such as “The
American”, made of roast beef, turkey breast, Vermont Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and a roasted garlic spread. The establishment is most frequently known for their hot press items, which include
exotic, often imported ingredients sandwiched inside crusty bread, smothered in either olive oil or the
homemade chimichurri sauce. The “#17” combines thinly sliced ham, granny smith apples, brie and Dijon mustard to create a culinary delight, to say the least.

Light, tasty and extremely affordable- the items presented to customers from the Hot Press are often crowd pleasers. All items are served up in this cozy restaurant, which resembles a lower Manhattan
eatery, crowded and complete with dim lighting.

The Belgian fries at Press195, are amazing. Upon first glance, they seem typical. Crispy, oily but not greasy, served with loads of ketchup- they seemed like regular French fries. Boy, was I wrong. Light, crispy, salty- I finally understood the sensation surrounding this, often neglected, typically mundane side dish. Chef Bryan Karp found the recipe for success through his recreation of the French fry, which has its own place on the menu, and was crowned by Newsday as “Long Island’s best French fries.”

Not only are they known for their sandwiches and famous fries, but for their Knishes. Press195 created a
sensation throughout the city by bringing back the knish, with a slight twist. Sandwiched inside a knish, customers can choose from steak, turkey, pastrami, and even meatloaf.

Combined with other elements such as Canadian bacon, Vermont cheddar cheese and gravy- this restaurant has taken a traditional cultural staple and recreated it in an eccentric, innovative manner that all New Yorker’s can enjoy. The New York Times agrees and adds that the knish corner is, “the brainchild of [chef] Brian Karp.”

Although the initial menu is nothing less than hearty, students can’t leave without trying the “dessert presses” which range from Nutella with fresh banana and ice cream to a “Banana Bread Press” with fresh banana and strawberry slices, NY state pure maple syrup, ice cream and candied walnuts.
Press 195 takes common, everyday meal options and transforms them into alluring, enticing menu choices. You can visit Press 195 at one of their three locations in Brooklyn, Bayside, or Rockville Center, and put your culinary skills to the test.

The chef of Press195, Brian Karp, is passionate about his food, to say the least. After successfully opening three restaurants, he still strives to pursue innovative culinary adventures and pushes his creative passions for cooking to the outermost limits, all for a price that STJ students can afford.