theLab (formerly known as Chocolate Lab), San Francisco

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Ritual Coffee
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Hot Drinking Chocolate: made with Recchiuti chocolate Pistoles (beads of pure chocolate) and Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Cup by Heath Ceramics.
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Egg, Bacon & Polenta: egg and bacon from Marin Sun Farms.
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Quiche
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The hot chocolate feels like you’re literally drinking a dark, smooth, rich chocolate bar. It’s quite delicious, and works well with the vanilla marshmallow! A worthy representation of Recchuiti confections. I just wish there were more menu items that have the nougatine found in the Lab Cake. That thing is awesome!

theLab is one of my faves for a casual-yet-nice lunch, brunch, dinner, and/or dessert stop. Everything I’ve tried here has exceeded my expectations. The staff is courteous and attentive, taking time to explain some of the menu items and lend their recommendations when asked. They’ve also got a great location, being warmer than most of SF, clean, with easy street parking and Muni access.

And the bathroom is clean!

theLab, 801 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107

Plow, San Francisco

Menu

Plow, Potrero Hill, SF

Locals

Plow, Potrero Hill, SF

My Date ❤

Plow, Potrero Hill, SF

Fried Egg Sandwich

Plow, Potrero Hill, SF

The Plow

 

Birthday brunch at Plow in Potrero Hill with my girlfriend.  We shared the fried egg sandwich and the plow.  It was good!

Plow, 1299 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Stable Cafe, San Francisco

I recently ventured out to Stable Cafe as part of my systematic attempt in trying coffee shops that are recommended for one reason or another… usually for good coffee, sometimes for its appearance.  Fortunately, Stable Cafe was both.  And they were kind enough to reserve a table for me and mine (turned out I was rollin’ 6 deep) outdoors since the weather was nice.

So I came prepared intestinally (stomach on empty) and mentally (researched the beans they serve), with my trigger finger ready on the camera shutter.

SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - a wandering child

When I walked in, I noticed that the line was about 8-long.  Not because of slow operations, but because it was a busy, bustling cafe with almost all indoor tables occupied.  While waiting in line I noticed a wandering child whose dress appeared to be from a century past.  I was glad they reserved a large table for me and my crew.  Their courtyard felt like a bit of an escape from the busy streets of The Mission in San Francisco.  I liked it.

SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - outdoor patio

Knowing that this was an entirely new brand of bean for me (De La Paz), I asked in advance what is recommended; each recommendation was espresso based (latte, cortado, cappuccino).  Since I typically have drip coffee, I decided I would order that and a cortado.  🙂

SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - drip coffee

SF – Stable Cafe (Mission) – drip coffee

SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - cortado

SF – Stable Cafe (Mission) – cortado

My evaluation: a solid recommendation.  If I were in the neighborhood I would totally go back.  But I wouldn’t make an effort to go back specifically.  Not because anything was wrong, in fact it is all good.  I just think there is better for coffee.  Stable Cafe provides a solid, well-rounded experience: good customer service, a cute setting, good coffee and good food.

  • The drip coffee resembled somewhat of a blend of Ritual / Barefoot / FourBarrel in its brighter & lighter overall flavor and mouthfeel with a smooth finish.  It tasted pleasant and I felt I didn’t need sugar or cream to enjoy it; a sign that it is really good coffee!  Speaking of mouth feel, it resembled the texture you get when using a french press, though I didn’t see any grit at the bottom of my cup when I finished it.
  • The cortado was really good.  Like a cappuccino in size, but with a different sweetness in the milk (cappuccino has steamed milk while the cortado has warmed milk).  I liked it and this is what I would order on my next visit.
SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - croissant

SF – Stable Cafe (Mission) – croissant

I also got myself a croissant with cheese and ham, while others got the Pomba (toast, bacon, brie, egg in the hole).  The croissant was good, as expected.  I mean, it’s a buttery, carby, cheesy, savory bundle of warming goodness.  However, I wondered if I missed out by not ordering the Pomba that everyone else got (but not because they have tried it previously; it was just happenstance).

SF - Stable Cafe (Mission) - Pomba

SF – Stable Cafe (Mission) – Pomba

Also, there was parking directly across the street.  In San Francisco.  In The Mission.  During the peak brunch hour.  Imagine that!  Fortune smiled upon me that day.