After watching the slow construction of Presto over the past year or so, I finally walked all of two blocks from my house to check out the sandwich, pastry, and coffee shop. My first visit was about a month ago for Sunday brunch. Sunday brunch, you say? In downtown
The interior of the corner café is funky, yet clean. Green and orange tiles cover the lower half of deep red walls, and spiral backed chairs with bright green seats are tucked neatly under metal-edged tables. Blown glass lights, shaped like jellyfish, hang from the vaulted ceiling. The L-shaped counter features a glass case displaying sandwiches, sides, and pastries. An open cooler by the door holds beverages and ready-to-go foods like salads, dessert, mac and cheese, and even sushi from neighboring Mikimotos.
The pastries are made in house by a pastry chef, and are displayed up front under glass so you won’t drool on them. So far, I’ve had the sticky bun and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake square. I stopped myself from eating the cheesecake square with my hands and got a fork because it was so good; I felt it deserved decorum. The muffins look delicious, and I’m sure they’d compliment an afternoon coffee while typing on the computer (they have internet access).
The breakfast menu features bagels and panini grilled omelet sandwiches. I tried to order a sandwich from their lunch menu (times when breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served are not clear on the menu) at ten minutes before eleven, and was unable. I think they would have accommodated, but the person in the back kitchen was m.i.a. Instead, I ordered the spinach and feta omelet on ciabatta, which was tasty but could have used some special sauce.
I returned the other night to order the sandwich I originally wanted – warm, marinated and grilled eggplant, and roasted peppers with chili jack cheese, and cilantro aioli on a banquette. This sandwich smelled wonderful and was flavorful (see what special sauce can do). The marinated eggplant, along with the cilantro aioli, was tangy, and the cheese has just a hint of hot pepper. After trying a few sandwiches at Presto!, I’d advise getting a bag of chips or a cookie to go with your sandwich if you’re a Hungry Man, as I find the sandwiches on the small side.
Presto offers a dinner menu with appetizers and entrees. The sandwich shop atmosphere doesn’t seem to fit the pricey dinner menu ($16-$24), but, hey, they’re open and it’s out there as an option if you feel so inclined to order scallops or lamb chops. If not, you can order a sandwich from the lunch menu ($6-$10), which I feel is a tad over priced. (Am I cheap?)
My one complaint with Presto is their packaging for to-go orders – lovely yellow paper gift bags, and sturdy plastic containers. It’s very nice packaging, but it’s so wasteful. I can recycle the paper bag, but the #5 plastic containers can’t be recycled in the area (if you know of a place, drop me a comment). They even put small, single pastries in a huge plastic container. I wouldn’t complain if they wrapped everything in paper. Whadda ya say, Darius? You’ve already cut down on emissions with your work commute, how about cutting down on trash?