Did you know that Oakland is one of five ports of entry for green (unroasted) coffee beans in the US? Knowing this, you shouldn’t be surprised by the plethora of third wave coffee shops in nearby San Francisco. I won’t go into the semantics of “third wave,” since I apparently missed wave 1 and wave 2, or we’re doing the coffee craze backwards, Star Wars style. …
Nespresso. Have you heard of it yet? It’s like espresso, but with an “n”. It’s a Swiss brand of single-serve coffee makers that markets to high-end clientele. Starbucks has gotten on the single-serve bandwagon, but, come on, they’re not Nespresso.
I was invited to the grand opening of Nespresso’s newest flagship boutique in Union Square in SF a few months ago. When I showed up, the place was still sorely under construction. I later found out that I was somehow not on the list when they told everyone about the cancellation of the event. I was sad. They sent me a $200 Nespresso machine and probably another $50 worth of accompanying paraphernalia. Apology accepted.
So you’re in the Richmond. And you want breakfast. And you don’t want to wait in line for an hour on Clement. Enter: Ashley’s.
I love this place. It’s a small cafe, order at the counter, (wo)manned by two nice ladies. They have wireless. And coffee. And fresh-squeezed orange juice from one of those fancy machines. And home-made, organic pastries and breakfast snacks. And onigiri. It’s like Japanese/breakfast fusion that was made just for me. Love.
Ok, I realize that writing about Specialty’s in San Francisco is kinda like writing about a Seven Eleven in a lesser city. That’s an exaggeration. But still, Specialty’s is sort of the San Francisco version of your average bakery and deli. There are a handful of them scattered around downtown, a few elsewhere in the bay area, and a few out of state. But I write about them because I find them to be utterly amazing.
What do you eat for lunch if you live in a regular city? Like Subway or something? Pish posh. I work in San Francisco and I order a Specialty’s sandwich at least once a week. Here is my favorite:
It’s called the Mediterranean. (Try spelling that without spell check. I dare you.) The Mediterranean: Fresh mozzarella with kalamata olives, spinach, tomato, basil, red pepper pesto, basil pesto and balsamic vinaigrette on toasted thyme focaccia. Two types of pesto! Olives! And fine, I’m all snooty about it and I swap out the focaccia for ciabatta. Which is so easy to do with their online ordering system whereby I choose what I want (and sub in/out any ingredients!) and then go pick it up at the store 15 minutes later. It’s amazing….
Word to the Sunset district! I never go out here. Ever. I don’t know if I’ve ever even been before going to Beachside. The Sunset was meh, but Beachside is a good draw out of the beating heart of the city.
This was a Brunch Club venture of a few weeks ago, and it was pretty amazing. Although, you know how if you see a movie with a person who loves that movie it kinda rubs off on you and you like it more than you might have otherwise? If you followed that drawn-out analogy, I think Beachside was kinda like that. None of us had ever been, but we were all oooh-ing and ahhh-ing the whole time, so I think there was a bit of a blindly praising feedback loop going on. I digress.
So, let’s start with the finale. Here is everything we ordered in overhead glory:
It was all pretty amazing, even considering aforementioned feedback loop. Since I have a lot of pictures to showcase, I will try to summarize the experience textually:…