Scores of up-and-coming restaurants are surfacing in University District. We have news about a future culinary dining destination dropping anchor soon on the Northwest’s expanding foodie landscape.
Its name? Press’d Sandwich Shop!
What some people think of as a lazy desk-lunch, or an easy slap-up dinner, we think of crafting a spectacular sandwich as an art form. This is why we are excited to connect with Scott Gordon, president and co-founder of Press’d to get the inside scoop about how this Alberta homegrown business is taking the humble, wholesome sandwich to new heights using fresh, Canadian-sourced ingredients in surprising ways.
Lunch just got more exciting!
“Sandwiches are the ultimate grab-and-go food”, says Scott. “They’re simple, they’re portable and they’re perfect for picky and adventurous eaters alike.”
From classics we’re all too familiar with to popular creations like The Bird, be prepared to have your taste buds teased and your senses heightened thanks to their freshly baked in-house bread. Let’s take a look at what we can expect to experience with its upcoming location, as well as some expert tips to enjoy your sandwich in all its glory and even Press’d Sandwich Shop’s recipe for their number one seller – the California Club!
Like sandwiches themselves, its story is a Canadian classic. A tale set on University of Alberta’s basketball courts and inspired by a local artisan sandwich shop in Arizona, Press’d launched its flagship restaurant to Edmontonians in 2010, and has been gaining popularity ever since from those enjoying its fare on park benches, in boardrooms and everywhere in between.
“We left promising accounting careers to give people what they wanted – the perfect sandwich,” says the Edmonton native. “Before opening our doors, we spent a year testing recipes and learning to bake the kind of bread worthy of the sandwiches we envisioned.”
From classic favourites to inspired gourmet creations that customers have never tried before, Press’ds unyielding respect for high-quality ingredients shines through. With each bite, you can taste real intention and care in the meals they prepare.
It’s hard to forget the dreamy and oh-so-creamy avocado that makes the well-executed and inventive Green Goddess a fan-favourite among vegetarians. And the Cubano? Marvel at its sweet and tangy zest thanks to the melt in your mouth pulled pork and chimichurri mayo.
“For us, sandwiches are more than just a common-thread dish. They are stacks of rich flavours and wholesome ingredients that unite people, cuisines and communities around the world.”
Sure it has top-notch double-deckers, as well as wraps and salads that are light and fresh, but Press’d has built something more than an Instagram-worthy lunch hot spot.
With its commitment to supporting local producers, Press’d is building a dynamic Canadian brand that caters to everyone.
“The diversity of people – from seniors and youth to students and professionals – is one of the key reasons we’re thrilled to join University District’s thriving retail community,” Scott says.
With three locations already in Calgary, University District will be home to its fourth.
“From its focus on quality and sustainability, to creating inspiring destinations for all to enjoy, having a location in U/D was a natural match,” he adds. ”We believe it will become a bustling destination where all walks of life can connect over the neighbourhood sandwich shop.”
There’s a reason it’s called “building” a sandwich. From balancing flavours and textures, moistness and crunch to choosing bread that will make each element shine and constructing them so that every bite is harmonious. Sandwich making is a craft!
Whether you’re hoping to step up your sandwich game or troubleshoot some common pitfalls, these expert tips will have you thinking “outside the box” when it comes to this lunchtime staple.
There’s nothing worse than a soggy mess at lunchtime. If you value soft, fresh bread, consider packing moist ingredients like cucumber, tomatoes and egg salad separately. Assemble right before eating by using cheese or meat as a layer between the bread and your wet ingredients. It’s a little extra work but it’s worth it!
Tip: Avoid pairing moist fillings with soft, fluffy breads. If you do, you’ve got a recipe for a sponge, not a sandwich. The moister the filling, the drier and denser the bread should be.
Rice is to sushi, as bread is to sandwiches, which is why its important start with the freshest, best quality bread you can find from your neighbourhood bakery, such as COBS Bread Bakery in Crowfoot Centre. Look past the traditional white loaf or its healthier brown counterpart and choose flavour profiles that will be a treat for your senses, like sundried tomato and chia fruit loaves, or go exotic with baguettes, buns and pita bread.
For the more adventurous, try baking your own bread! Go beyond the basic grains, ryes and sourdoughs by adding cheese, spice and even sauces to your bread mixture.
Tip: Consider toasting your bread. It not only helps manage sogginess it brings out the sweetness of bread. Remember, any bread you’re using for a sandwich should be delicious enough to eat on its own!
When it comes to building a wholesome, flavourful hoagie, the possibilities are practically endless. Skip the traditional tomatoes and opt for roasted peppers and sautéed onions to provide the perfect foil for heavy, rich ingredients. Add a zest of fresh crunch by using cabbage, peppery arugula or even fennel in place of lettuce. Plant-based and meat-loving foodies will enjoy all those layers of deliciousness!
Tip: Beyond your typical vegetable fare, ignite your palate with mouth-watering flavours such as the sweet and salty combination of juicy apples and a tangy balsamic glaze. Forgo the classic ham. Instead try savoury rosemary ham, zesty salami or an Italian dry-cured ham (prosciutto). It will satisfy your taste buds and make you wonder how you existed on plain ham sandwiches.
Say goodbye to your mundane ham-and-cheese and opt for a meal that is full of flavor, texture and colour with this twist on a classic BLT.
Made with fresh homemade guacamole and slices of crisp, savoury bacon, we can’t gush about this sandwich enough! Whether you’re stacking for one or a party of eight, this sandwich will be a hit. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Crisp your bacon
Over medium heat and without overlapping, add your room temperature bacon to a pan. Turn the strips as needed until they reach the desired crispness. Drain on a paper-towel-lined platter and set aside.
Tip: For evenly cooked strips, don’t preheat the skillet. Place your bacon in a cold pan allowing the fat to render slowly, giving you consistently cooked strips of bacony goodness!
Step 2: Prepare your guacamole
In a small dish, prepare fresh guacamole using ripened avocados and set aside. Check out All Recipes for its quick and easy guacamole recipe. It will take you less than 10 minutes to make!
Step 3: Stack your layers
Toast two bread slices until golden. Once crisped to your liking, lay them side-by-side. Spread a tablespoon of mayo onto one slice, followed by your roasted chicken and a slice of Swiss cheese. Spread the freshly made guacamole over the meat and cheese.
On the other slice of bread, stack 1-2 pieces of lettuce and one slice of tomato. Crisscross two slices of cooked bacon over the tomato. Flip the BLT side over onto the roasted chicken side to form a sandwich. Cut in half and voila – ready to devour!
Tip: To keep your ingredients perfectly stacked, push a sandwich pick into each half before slicing.
Whether you prefer something as sweet and simple as PB & J or as savoury and unique as grilled peach with brie, the humble sandwich can be anything you want it to be. Best part? No cutlery required!
Do you have a tried and true sandwich recipe – vegan or non-vegetarian – that you know our readers will love? We would love to hear your suggestions. Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.