I spent a good portion of my week in San Francisco exploring various neighborhoods of the city and often finding a coffee shop in the area to hang out at for a few hours.
Several of these coffee shops either offered good enough coffee, food, or people watching to warrant return visits. In particular, two spots- Velo Rouge Café and The Blue Danube Coffee Shop on Clement became go-tos for the week.
After a pleasant, but tiring, bike ride through golden gate park on my first day of exploring, my buddy and host recommended that I check out Velo Rouge (it turns out Velo is a term for “Bike” in French) for lunch and a little work. The afternoon turned out even better than could have been expected, as I was invited to enjoy my lunch in the company of a very friendly (and attractive) young lawyer who happened to work at the nearby USF Law school and who recommended the cool Kabuki theater.
On the same day, while doing some good writing, I managed to piss off the management not just once, but several times. To start, I attempted to plug my dying laptop into a surge protector hanging from the ceiling. It did seem a little strange, but given that a nearby TV was also plugged in there, I went for it. Not even 30 minutes later, I was reprimanded for putting my legs on the glass table in front of me. In my defense, my feet weren’t actually on the table, but rather just the bottoms of my pant legs. However, as they explained to me “people eat off of that,” (something I was well aware of, as I had just eaten off of it myself). My final offense was bringing in a bag of outside food, although I never planned to actually eat any of my leftovers that I was carrying around before heading home. Ironically, when back there the next day, I sat next to the same seat I had been at the day before (with the tempting glass table) and the girl seated there pulled the same move, only to be scolded in exactly the same way. Luckily I happened to be there to warn her not to plug in any cords above her head.
The Blue Danube was located just a few streets over on Clement street (where Eats and Q Brunch were also located). We stopped in there on Saturday morning for a late breakfast. Everyone else in my party went with a classic egg and cheese sandwich on one of their delicious looking bagels; however, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a tuna sandwich on a bagel, a favorite combo of mine.
While seated on an interesting mixture of chairs, couches, and pillow-covered benches, we noticed a “Blue Danube journal” sitting on the table in front of us. Upon opening it, we discovered not your typical traveler’s messages-“I love the Blue Danube, I stop here whenever I come to visit,” but rather much more intimate notes that you might find in someone’s actual personal journal or better yet a diary. I kid you not; there were descriptions of the sadness associated with unrequited live, the loneliness of long distance relationships, and even accounts of more serious signs of depression and hopelessness. I certainly couldn’t see myself writing about such personal details of my own life in a notebook that would be on display for any future patrons; however, given my interest in other people, I could definitely have spent longer than I did sitting there to read more of the entries.
Café Trieste was located in the Little Italy district of the city, just past Chinatown and on the way to the Presidio. A friend of mine, and a lover of SF, told me that the one place I needed to go was Cafe Trieste and the one thing I had to get (and something he tries to get on each and every trip out there) is a Latte. Unfortunately, I stay away from milk in my coffee. However, I think the iced coffee was certainly worth the trip over there. Additionally, when I started chatting with the very friendly owner (it’s debatable whether he may have been interested in me other than just as a customer), he gave me some recommendations for other parts of the city to check out and also added a free shot of espresso to my coffee. This location was slightly less amenable to working while “plugged in,” (I couldn’t find any outlets, not even off-limits ones) but was certainly a nice change of scenery from my other two more-frequented locations.
Additionally, after my umpteenth coffee of the trip (this trip certainly got me back on a coffee kick), I realized that I wasn’t very far from In ‘N Out Burger and decided that it would be the best day to make that trip, given that it was certainly something I wanted to grab while out there.
I don’t think anyone needs an entire blog post on In N Out, if you’ve never been, or even less likely, never heard of it, you won’t have any trouble finding countless reviews of the burgers or all of the cool “secret” orders you can get there. Personally, I think they’re good for what they are, a better quality fast food burger, but I get slightly frustrated with self-righteous Golden staters who claim them to be god’s gift to the earth.