Boston on the Go - a Bostonian guide to keeping yourself busy and in the know. Ideas on things to do, places to shop & dine, and what to talk about when you're out and about in the Boston area.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Evolving Downtown Sandwich Scene

Yesterday Pressed Sandwiches announced that they are temporarily closing their doors - signs to lease their Oliver St location are already in the window. No specific reason has been mentioned yet for their closing.

In the meantime, a new sandwich place, Theo's Sandwich Shop, opened a couple doors down a few weeks ago. Theo's is in a very small location (takeout) and focuses on cheap and large portions.

In contrast is Aristo Cafe, which we blogged about back in December. Aristo Cafe's sandwiches are priced higher for smaller portions than Theo's, but the quality of the ingredients seem better and the sandwiches are light and delicious.

For more thoughts on these restaurants ....

A photo of the menu from Theo's:

I've only had the chicken parm there, which was pretty good. On the plus side, they use breaded chicken cutlets as opposed to a lot of delis in the area that just used grilled chicken. The portion size for a large was ... quite large and at a low price. The downside is that the sauce was fairly plain. Definitely worth a trip back to try out some other options.

I've been to Aristo Cafe three times now - once shortly after they opened and a couple times since then. Aristo has definitely succeeded in creating a European-style dining option. The contents of the cold sandwiches are displayed in a case, and upon ordering the tray of ingredients is taken out and transfered onto fresh baked bread.

The Di Parma is highly recommended, with the subtle addition of melon complementing the prosciutto nicely. The Egg Salad is good with the egg not being overwhelmed by the mayonnaise. The hot sandwich Croque Monsieur is a bit disappointing - the taste of gruyere is lost somewhere along the way. So while Aristo is higher priced, the sandwiches are light and refreshing and are quite fulfilling.

One last personal note on Pressed Sandwiches, I would frequently go there for breakfast sandwiches until about a year ago due to several reasons:
- they stopped doing breakfast specials - this would help lure you in hoping for the prosciutto, fontina, and egg sandwich, and even when it wasn't that special, you would usually get a breakfast sandwich anyway. For me, the Bagel Press.
- for a rather basic breakfast sandwich, the price was a bit high.
- there was a lot of staff turnover

I tried lunches there too but never became a fan.


Meredithk1981 said...

Thanks for posting about the changing lunch scene! Our office (in the same building) was sad to learn about the abrupt closing of Pressed but we agree with some of your points on it.

We're also curious about Theo's due to its location about 100 feet from another sandwich shop, Buccieri's (similar fare, very nice people on staff, competitive pricing).

g funk said...

Oh good call on Buccieri's next door. The bread there is incredibly good and they have some great sandwiches. They are, however, one of those chicken parm places that don't use breaded cutlets :(