Vegetarian Delights of NYC: Press 195's No. 12

Vegetarian Delights of NYC: Press 195's No. 12

Press 195 has been a Park Slope standby for years, and its extensive menu of sandwiches is a veritable garden of vegetarian delights. Case in point: the specimen pictured above.

What you're looking at is the No. 12, an enjoyable mess of fontina, provolone, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and black bean hummus. It's all squashed between fat slabs of ciabatta, and hot-pressed until it reaches optimum gooeyness.

While artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and cheese is hardly a novel combination -- particularly for anyone familiar with the vegetarian playbook used by most restaurants -- the black bean hummus gives unexpected dimension to the sandwich, balancing the salty insistence of the tomatoes and artichokes with a warm, Earth Mother-ish depth. The chief contribution of the melted cheese is, well, melted cheese, which is never a bad thing, particularly when there's plenty (but not too much) of it. And most importantly, all of the ingredients are layered equally throughout the sandwich, a small but crucial detail that eludes a surprising number of sandwich purveyors.

Taken together, the sum of the No. 12's parts -- including the terrifically crunchy-but-soft bread -- adds up to a meal that is both satisfying and, at $8.50, relatively inexpensive. And the gratis side of pickles, while a little on the sweet side, makes a refreshing accompaniment to the onslaught of the cheese, salt, and beans.

Press 195 195 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn 718-857-1950

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