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Finding a gourmet meal for a reasonable price is often a difficult task, and many times, restaurant-goers are faced with the dilemma of sacrificing quality for cost.

On a recent weekend endeavor, I came across Press 195. Press has become the “talk of the town” amongst publications throughout Manhattan. There is truly something for everyone at this cozy eatery, nestled in Bayside.

The menu at Press 195 is broken down into seven key components: cold press, hot press, Belgian fries, starters, salads, burgers and knishes.

Their extensive sandwich menu is 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 is the fact that 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.

Cold press sandwiches are presented on 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.

The Belgian fries at Press 195 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.

Not only is Press 195 known for the sandwiches and famous fries, but for their knishes as well. Press 195 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 Yorkers can enjoy.

Although the initial menu is nothing less than hearty, one cannot 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, New York 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.

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