Between barbeques and al fresco dining, I love this time of year. A restaurant I can't wait to hit up is Press 195 on Bell Blvd. Named the "Sandwich Kings of Brooklyn" by the Food Network, this trendy little panini and sandwich shack recently opened an outpost in Queens on restaurant row, Bell Blvd.
A slim little storefront squeezed in between restaurants, bars and clothing shops, you might have trouble finding Press 195, but it's definitely worth a trip inside. An extensive menu of every imaginable sandwich made with the freshest ingredients combined with yummy white or red sangria and unique beer selections make this a standout year round in my book, but the backyard garden makes this place irresistible once the sun arrives for Spring and Summer.
Everything on the menu at Press 195 has a unique touch. The maple pesto spread uses maple syrup from Ashland Farms in Prattsville, NY and their honey jalapeno sauce is made with honey from Traphagen's Honey Farm in Hunter, NY. I love their use of local produce and I feel I can taste the freshness.
Start off with either the Asparagus Appetizer or the Hummus Plate...both are delicious. The former is a slightly sweet plate of the grilled asparagus, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in a maple pesto sauce. The latter, a heaping plate of black bean hummus, grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, calamata olives and spicy bread rounds for dipping. The only appetizer I've had here that disappointed was the Veggie Salsa-- it tasted just like any other store bought salsa, and there wasn't nearly enough given with the chips.
As for the sandwiches, there so many to choose from-- it all depends on what you like. There are 30 numbered hot pressed sandwich varieties, ranging from grilled vegetable and goat cheese variations to meaty prosciutta and sliced steak combos. Most sandwiches are served on ciabatta bread with yummy spreads and sauces...fruit chutneys, garlic and olive spreads, homemade horseradish sauces, etc. Every time I go, deciding on a sandwich takes forever because everything sounds so tasty! The last time I was there, I had the #14: grilled zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper with fresh spinach and roasted garlic and black olive spread. I'm hungry just thinking about it.
Though they are known as a sandwich shop, they have many other choices including fresh soups and salads. They also offer pick-your-filling stromboli style pizzas, and knish sandwiches, with toppings pressed between two potato knishes. I haven't tried either, but they do sound intriguing.
Imagine sitting in their backyard garden at a picnic table eating all this deliciousness...it's the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.
40-11 Bell Blvd. (1 block from the LIRR station)