PRESS, Madison Square

by Kevin Walsh

I’m beginning a new Forgotten NY category called Eats, in which I talk about lunch and dinner spots I like to frequent. I’m hardly a gourmet, but there are a few non-fastfood chains around town that I find myself in quite a bit. I’m not hard to please. The food has to taste good, the crowds can’t be oppressive and the employees have to be polite, but not oversolicitous.

Press, 34 East 23rd Street opposite Madison Square, presents itself as a fast food place, but thus far, this is its one and only location. The menu mostly consists of wraps, soup and salad, but these wraps are a lot better than the tired, boring cellophane-wrapped wraps you may be used to.

The idea is that you pick out your own dough, with choices being white, whole wheat and other flavors, and the server puts it in a press (hence the name) and then a skillet, which browns it up a bit on both sides. You then have your choice of fillings, with the usual stuff you find at a Subway or Blimpie: lettuce, tomato, onion, pico or other salad-y stuff. As a rule, since I like to stay with the tried and true, I stick to their cheeseburger or chicken offerings. The meats are excellent, with no gristle or cartilage (which rules a place out for me whenever I encounter it.)  I have to emphasize, they don’t ‘eat’ like wraps, but rather like burritos. The dough wrapping is soft and easily eaten with both hands and there’s just enough to fill you without weighing you down for the afternoon. I was in here all the time when I worked at nearby Tiffany & Co.


(I wish you could easily take photos indoors without a flash, but till that day comes, we have to settle for this kind of thing.) The seating consists of metallic tables and wood seats. The Press logo is red and white, like Forgotten New York’s, so they have a knowledgeable art director.

A ‘wrap,’ chips and can of sodee pop will set you back $13 and change. The rest rooms are clean. I do wish they could do something about the flying visitors, but many places have that problem.

I’m not serious enough to do ratings, but Press is good to excellent and I wish they would expand.



Renée from Staten Island December 6, 2014 - 6:33 pm

I like your new Eats reviews, Kevin. I also appreciate inexpensive, fresh, good-tasting non-fast foods. Wish you’d been doing these when I still lived in NYC and worked in midtown and downtown…

Walt Gosden December 8, 2014 - 10:06 am

this is great, a very welcome addition to your excellent commentary. Thanks for this.

Robin Maillo December 8, 2014 - 5:16 pm

This is going to be a great feature. So many of us are always looking for a small place that takes the time to make you feel at home and feed you also. May I suggest you try Toast, it’s around the Columbia U area.


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