I normally like making my own breakfast. Cooking helps me pursue a healthy lifestyle. But, I am also always on the search for great restaurants, bistros, bakeries and cafés. I hoped that Pressed might make my shortlist of Ottawa’s best eateries. That it to say, eateries whose owners and chefs share a commitment for delicious food that is also healthy.
Having “Googled” to find the location of Pressed, I was excited to learn that they had recently added waffles to their menu. Now., a pancake is very easy to make, but how do you make a waffle without having a basic kitchen accessory: the waffle maker? The waffles in the photos looked delicious, but looks can be deceiving. Anyone who has seen a McDonald’s Big Mac commercial on the TV knows what I am talking about.
I decided to get down to Pressed as soon as I could before their 2:00 PM cut-off time for serving waffles on a Sunday. Pressed was very easy to find. Pressed is right on Gladstone, and just west of Bronson.
Pressed is an ‘urban gourmet and sandwich bar’ which advertises itself as a “neighbourhood café”. From the outside, Pressed presents a very smart café-look, while also being friendly and inviting. When I went inside, I was impressed with its relaxed-looking atmosphere and with its cozy decor. This atmosphere also includes the elegant varnished wooden floors with rustic furnishings. Pressed from outside and inside has the look of a large renovated house.
The inspirers that created Pressed obviously went to painstaking efforts to bring together a modern look with “the traditional“. This is the kind of warm space that is inviting for any Saturday or Sunday, whether for breakfast, brunch or a straight-up lunch.
When you enter into Pressed, you will pass through an artistically displayed tall curtain, and walk along an inviting “open-concept” corridor in which you will be able to see a dining area abuzz with many people. This place seemed to be a great place both for friends as couples. After about a four second walk, you’ll see the a menu artistically written on a blackboard and will be immediately greeted by friendly staff. I soon met Jeff, the owner of Pressed. Jeff seemed to be a definite hands-on owner of a great-looking neighbourhood café.
I hoped that my waffles would not be one of those usual kind of waffles I get when I order them. I hate to break it to you, but to my amazement, most every place in Ottawa and elsewhere, seems to make waffles from some disgusting looking brown-grey looking concoction which comes out of a jug about the size of a vegetable oil jug.
So I asked the friendly staff member who greeted me: “Are your waffles made freshly?”
Then I grimaced expecting a diplomatic “no” kind of answer. However, to my surprise, the answer was: “Yes, our waffles are made fresh”.
I then decided to try the Eggs Benedict Waffles. Apparently, that has become a popular choice among the many customers who come to Pressed as the local neighbourhood joint.
I was then seated at a table, after waiting a few minutes for a table to become available in this very busy neighbourhood café.
Eggs Benedict is just one of a few other different choices for waffles. What you decide to choose depends on whether you are in the mood for a breakfast or more “lunch-style” of waffle. You can also choose between a savoury waffle, or a sweeter fruity waffle to which you add maple syrup.
When my Eggs Benedict Waffles arrived I was amazed. It looked delicious. My Eggs Benedict Waffles comprised of poached eggs, in-house smoked bacon, hollandaise sauce very conscientiously prepared.
You might wonder, just how delicious my Eggs Benedict Waffles were? Well, the guy next to me who was with his girlfriend, kept looking at my waffles. He apologised for that.. But I instead encouraged him to get some waffles himself. He remarked “next time”. He had to go shortly, and you can’t enjoy a waffle like this by trying to eat it in 2 minutes.
The Eggs Benedict waffles are great for a first meal on a Sunday morning. These waffles were indeed light but also substantial; and also freshly prepared. The eggs that were poached on top of the waffles were definitely fresh. The bacon had a delicious full flavoured and lightly smoked taste that is much better than the usual bacon served at other restaurants and bistros in Ottawa to which I have been.
The Egg Benedict Waffles is part of Jeff’s team-inspired commitment to healthy and delicious food, that is also sensitive to food allergies. Pressed is a local neighbour café, that I found to be inviting to anyone from outside of its location in western Centretown.
Pressed is not about sticking food in a microwave, or about heating up frozen pre-processed foods. Pressed is inspired by an artisan approach to food preparation, which embraces local, organic, fair trade practices and sustainable agriculture through buying locally as much as possible.
After brunch, Pressed also featured a great folks-blues inspired local artist which rounded out a great Eggs Benedict Waffle Brunch at Pressed. I was therefore left to conclude that this neighbourhood café not only prepares fresh and delicious waffles, but also sandwiches and a variety of other lunch dishes.
I learned also that Pressed is a great venue to listen to music on the weekend. On Sunday, the musician started around 2 PM, and continued to serenade patrons with great music.
Before leaving Pressed that Sunday afternoon, I wanted to know what was the inspiration for Pressed in general, and specifically having waffles on the menu? Jeff indicated that:
My inspiration for the whole idea was to create a neighbourhood-oriented relaxed place for people to come and feel like they’re at home. I always like places like this in other cities and I find many places in Ottawa are a bit serious.
Jeff then elaborated:
I liked the waffle idea because they are pressed, like the sandwiches and so they go with the theme. I also like the simplicity of having just a few variants on a theme to choose from, in this case just 5 waffles.
Jeff also added that he has been to other restaurants that only serve waffles or crepes and found that “they are a great base to go in a sweet or savoury direction.”
Chapters-Indigo uses the motto: “The world needs more Canada”. I would like to add to that that our neighbourhoods need more cafés like Pressed which rise above that those “greasy spoons” which sometime view their establishment to be the neighbourhood café. But, why wait for that to happen. Why not come on down, and treat yourself to some fabulous waffles or to other choices that you might want on a weekend.
Waffles at Pressed were introduced for Sunday brunch time from 11 AM to 2 PM. However, as word has travelled, Jeff has also made these waffles available during brunch on Saturday. If you decide to come on down on the Saturday, don’t be surprised if you think of going back from seconds by Sunday. Yes, waffles at Pressed are that delicious. Just ask the guy beside me. I would not be surprised to see him the next time I venture to Pressed on the weekend.
Pressed – Gourmet Sandwich Bar
750 Gladstone Ave