Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ category

BMB- a revisit to Velo Rouge

September 14, 2012

Taking a closer look:



February 15, 2011

Thought I’d combine 2 themes quickly here. Fillmore Street has a new coffee place that sounded worth an explore. Some family members will remember this location with fondness as the source of the deep rich hot chocolate of Bittersweet which sadly closed up their SF shop last year (though the Oakland location lives on). The space has a brand new homey decor and is taking their espresso seriously. I enjoyed a great Americano and whole wheat coffee cake (sounds healthy anyway) while various neighbors came in to wish the new owner luck. Finished all but 2 squares of the Sunday puzzle. Jane is named after the owner’s daughter. The bathroom decor is pretty cool:

kinda etsy

yes ... each silhouette is cut from velvet

I was going to shoot a video about Jane and compare it to the holy trinity of SF coffee, but another hipster beat me to it:

Things I saw …

February 6, 2011

… on a sunny, 80-degree Super Bowl Sunday. Besides the Super Bowl.

An(other) Andrew Goldsworthy installation in the Presidio. It’s called “Wood Line” and it’s a work in progress, at the moment:

Logs for later.

A woman dressed as Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz. (Red shoes, of course). Another woman reclining on her stoop, talking on a phone: “Oh, the Packers, but just cuz I hate Ben Roethlisberger.” (I nodded my head, and a man in the doorway laughed). Scrapple, on Troy’s plate at brunch.

A blog post on sports design (scroll all the way down), that includes a redesigned Tennessee Vols football uniform package:

Checkerboard stripes are awesome!

Lots of 20-somethings walking around the city, carrying cases of Bud Light. More than one gaggle of Cheeseheads.

After the jump, I create entirely new divisions for the National Football League!


Breakfast 1/15/11

January 16, 2011

Caffe Pascucci apparently is an Italian chain which just opened up its first store in the US down in South Beach.  I stopped by on the way home from work yesterday with high expectations.  I was hoping for an Italian Blue Bottle, but instead found an Italian Starbucks–  with muffins that are even more stale.  bleh.  At least the barista had a sexy accent.  That’s about it.

i'm not sure what the hell a "frapuccino confuso" is


And to think that 9-down’s clue was “carte blanche”

January 13, 2011

An amazing experience this morning.  I had Bar Agricole ALL TO MYSELF.  It’s not often that you get to treat a San Francisco hot spot as your own personal playground.  But if:

– the hot spot recently just started serving morning coffee

– it’s a rainy January weekday morning

– and there is nothing on the menu except for espresso drinks and laugenbrötchen

… then you might be in luck.  I’m sure it won’t last.  Brunch is on the way and word will soon spread.  But today, I was able to do my crossword and enjoy a top quality americano in peace with no laptop zombies or cellphone chatterers in sight.

Breakfast 8/29/10

August 29, 2010

I’m usually one of the less-hip and older people present at Matching Half in the morning.  So I was grateful this morning to the late40s gentleman who made me feel just a tad less past-my-prime when he asked the (young, hip) owner, “what is this song playing?  It’s pretty good”.  Mental note to self–  never ask such a question in the future.  That’s what Shazam is for.

Blogging my breakfast: special enjoyment-quadrulpled-when-you-aren’t-dealing-with-Broken-Bridge-commute edition

October 29, 2009

Especially since favorite barista Riley left Mojo, I’ve been looking forward to the opening of the new cafe/wine bar “Matching Half” nearby on the corner of McAllister and Baker. Apparently I was so excited that last night I dreamed about visiting– and being stressed by being cut off by a mom and 5 indecisive children in line. In reality, it was crowded, but the wait was minimal and the cafe shows promise of being a new favorite that may have to enter into rotation.


i obviously don't know how to use photoshop


nice window from the old nasty coffehouse stayed


I looked back at one of my favorite blog posts of all time, The Shot’s “Common Cues for Recognizing Good and Bad Espresso“, to review the list of cues that indicate good espresso is in store (even before sipping). How did the new cafe do?

  • They roast their own. Score extra points if they date-stamp their roasted beans for retail sale.
  • They bother with latte art. Latte art is more gimmick than a sign of quality per se (sorry, Aussies). But it’s almost unheard of to find a place that bothers with latte art and yet makes a lousy cappuccino.
  • A La Marzocco machine. Oh, sure, there are plenty of other great espresso machines out there. And there are places that can make great espresso from the most modest equipment choices. But shelling out the bucks for a La Marzocco is typically reserved for those who believe it will actually make a difference for them.
  • They offer more than one kind of bean for espresso. This is a rare find. But when they do, they expect you to notice that the espresso there isn’t just some generic, nameless commodity shot out of a soda gun. Many other establishments think more like Homer Simpson’s tour of the Duff Beer factory, where a single spigot fills Duff, Duff Light, and Duff Dry.
  • They serve a glass of water on the side. Despite the American obsession with the Big Gulp®, espresso should not quench your thirst. Better espresso can often be found at places that don’t expect it to.
  • They take time to make it. You could have a really new, or really slow, barista. Or they could be a little bit of a perfectionist about what they’re doing. We never encourage our baristi to rush the job.
  • Cleanliness is next to decent espresso. If the staff keeps their work areas clean, there are better chances that they clean their equipment of rancid coffee oil build-up — and that they keep their equipment properly tuned and maintained

Let’s see: no (but they use Verve beans which are for sale in date-stamped bags), yes, no (nice Slayer machine), don’t think so, no but lots of water glasses/pitchers available for self serve, yes and YES.

And did they have any “signs of when to run”?

  • The roar and/or whine of poorly steamed milk. This is one of those cases where their handling of milk can translate to their handling of coffee. And milk that is steamed in the pitcher to the scalding sounds of a 747 takeoff or the squeal of a dentist’s drill is a major red flag.
  • A superautomatic espresso machine. Superautomatic machines almost never produce an espresso better than “palatable”. Hello, Starbucks.
  • The barista is wearing a company-issue hat or cap. One sure-fire way to non-verbally tell a customer, “How may I massacre your order?” is to require them to dress like fast food employees.
  • They use a two-group La Spaziale 3000 espresso machine. Ouch. Do we really have that much against La Spaziale? They honestly make some good equipment, and a few cafés are quite capable with them. But in the Bay Area, the two-group La Spaziale 3000 is the machine of choice (namely: they’re inexpensive) among cafés looking to skimp and save a few bucks.
  • America’s Best Coffee. Or Peerless coffee, should they admit it. The most common combination of the cheap-and-careless café is the two-group La Spaziale 3000 with America’s Best Coffee beans. A close second is Peerless coffee — which we’ve also found to be the coffee most likely for employees to say it’s Illy in an attempt to make up something that sounds better. Of course, almost as bad (it varies) is the café where the employees have no idea whose beans they serve. But the pattern here seems to be this: the more self-aggrandizing the coffee brand name, the worse the coffee.
  • Portafilter handles are left cooling on the drip tray. This is often the kiss of death: a café that knows nothing about the importance of stable temperature control, and they could care less.
  • Served with a lemon rind on the side. You’d be surprised how many restaurants still do this. Why? We don’t know, because it’s like a neon sign that says, “Prepare to spew.”
  • Paper cups are the only option. There are times where even we want a coffee “to go”. But those conditions are so sub-par. For a café to serve their espresso only in paper cups, you may as well be greeted by a fiberglass clown head with a speakerphone in his throat at the drive-thru entrance. If someone’s idea of quality and class is the stemware at a four-year-old’s birthday party, we emphasize the “go” part of “to go”.
  • Flavored coffees on the menu. Or the word “gourmet”. In some parts of the country, and rare corners of the Bay Area, the 1980s are still alive and well and some people are still selling chocolate macadamia nut flavored coffee. If a café sells coffee that sounds more like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, you’d be better off looking for ice cream. Same goes if they use the word “gourmet” in their branding — a word that has since become affiliated only with the mass-produced packaged foods that line the aisles of Wal-Mart, marked for quick sale to their morbidly obese loyal customers.

Let’s see: no, no!, NO (unless hipsterwear counts), no?, no, didn’t notice, no, NO!, NO!

So they’re off to a good start. Hopefully once the liquor license is arranged, the wine bar will be equally nice. The way this neighborhood is going, we may soon never have to take a bus to dinner again.