Monday, October 31, 2011

Sandpresso brings “Korean twist on breakfast and lunch” to Pittsburgh. And $8 kimbap.


Sandpresso (샌드프레소), a Korean coffee and sandwich shop, opened its first location in the United States in September. The Pittsburgh store (map) is just west of the Strip District, an international(ish) neighborhood with blocks and blocks of Asian, European, American, and Pittsburghese restaurants, shops, street-food vendors, and cafes.

From the Pittsburgh City Paper’s review earlier this month:
After eating the best egg salad I've ever eaten in my life at Sand Presso Coffee and Sandwich Bar, David Kim is mum on exactly what makes it so tasty.
"That's our magic sauce," he says with a smile. Likewise, he's little help on why my vanilla latte seems deliciously better. The co-owner of the new eatery in the Strip (just steps from Downtown) isn't telling; he just keeps smiling.
Sand Presso has only been open since last month, but a steady stream of customers stop in for coffee.
In South Korea, Sandpresso is pretty ordinary, and is one of many shops that offer wimpy-but-expensive sandwiches. We’ll see how it does in a neighborhood people visit almost purely for the food. The menu includes a bulgogi burger and an $8 bowl of bibimbap that's the going rate for bibimbap in the city, but somewhere between two and three times what it would cost in South Korea, depending on the restaurant's level of pretentiousness. To succeed in this Pittsburgh neighborhood, though---one that includes the locally-famous Primanti's---I think it will have to rely on the strength and the pricing of its coffee and smoothies.