Top of the morning fellow advent foodies! Welcome to the new installment of Here’s the Dish. Have you ever spent an absurd amount of time deciding where to get a nice cup of joe? If so, have no fear because you’ve come to the right place! Since San Francisco has a plethora of cafes within a one-mile radius of wherever you are, I’ve decided to try a few coffee shops in a specific district. In this mini-series, I will be focusing on the ever-so-gloomy Sunset district. What better way to fight the foggy weather than to indulge in a hot steaming drink?
Thoughts and impressions:
Where shall I begin with this quaint little coffee shop? Initially, I noticed this cafe when it was in the process of being built since I attend the church right next door. Previous cafes that occupied that storefront all ended up having to close down since it was like any other mediocre coffee joint that sold coffee from a franchise. However when Andytown opened, there was a new rustle and flow of energy as mobs of people lined up to get drinks. The tiny store offered a fresh environment, with its bright ambiance and friendly workers. Now I pass by that shop with a feeling of regret whenever I don’t get their delicious baked goods or specialty drinks.
A few months later, I got the idea to review coffee shops in the Sunset District and this was one of the first ones that came into my mind because the food and drinks have far exceeded my expectations. Therefore, I would like to expose this shop to the general public, specially to those who have not yet gone here.
With the four day weekend in late February, I wanted to utilize the time off to refuel my necessary intake of caffeine. A sudden burst of joy entered my system as I walked into the shop as I felt the warmth illuminating with it’s bright contemporary interior and decor. There are a multitude of sleek wooden makeshift tables jutting out of the clean white wall, each decorated with a mini vase of vibrant flowers. Also, their outdoor seating gives a very minimalistic feel as they are completely white and simple.
As I contemplated what to order, I was rendered speechless despite their limited choices because everything on the menu looked delicious. Eventually, I decided to order a latte and a kale scone. I had never tried a savory scone, so it felt like the perfect time to try one. On the other hand, Mina— a fellow waver whose column is Satirical Society of Scintillating Sentences— opted for the hot chocolate and a sweet chocolate-orange-cranberry scone. Furthermore, my friend, Teresa decided to the be adventurous and ordered the Snowy Plover which is a drink that is notorious for its contradictory reviews.
Our anticipation whilst waiting for the drinks peaked just as the worker called out to us. The rich aroma filled my lungs as I brought my food to the outdoor table that we occupied (as soon as the group of people that were sitting there prior to us left). We were glad to get a table at that time because it was unusually crowded during the middle of a Friday afternoon. Going back to the topic of the drinks, the eyesome heart-shaped latte art was phenomenal, as was the art on the hot chocolate, where designs were made surrounding their homemade whipped cream.
The light, slightly sweetened latte brightened up my day and made me feel more refreshed. Moreover, I could taste the richness of their Guatemala-imported coffee bean. Before I knew it, I drained the whole cup in a few minutes, which is highly unusually for me since I tend to pace myself when eating. But hey, I couldn’t stop myself from devouring it. However, I do recommend applying brown sugar to it if you have a sweet tooth since the drink by itself is only faintly sweet. Moving onto the scone, I didn’t expect to be punched with the flavor when I took the first bite. I don’t think it’s physically possible to have a jumble of different ingredients ranging from kale, chili peppers, and different spices morphed into a scone while also tasting so appetizing. Also, the chili peppers gave it a boost of heat as I bit into the scone. Regardless of it’s miniature size, I was unable to finish it since it was relatively dense and hearty.
With high expectations for her beautifully prepared hot chocolate, Mina was excited to divulge in her drink. Sadly, the hot chocolate did not the meet her liking. Expecting a rich and aromatic taste, she felt that the drink consisted mostly of a milk base, with a faint taste of some powderly hot chocolate mix that resembled Swiss Miss. The savior of the drink, however, was the house-made, slightly sweetened whipped cream that was impossibly light, creamy, and fluffy. With Mina’s lowered morale from the hot chocolate, she initially was hesitant towards trying the scone and afraid it would not meet her expectations. Fortunately, she found that it was tasty, especially with the hot chocolate. The chocolate-orange-cranberry was relatively drier and heavier than your usual scone, yet had a delectable level of sweetness. Logically, the scone went well with the hot chocolate since the scone did boost the craved amount of chocolate to the flavor-lacking drink.
My friend, Teresa, after hearing an ample of amount of praises about the aforementioned coffee shop, wanted to try the famed Snowy Plover. This espresso drink, mixed with sparkling water and topped with their house-made whipped cream, has created a great debate amongst their customers. According to the mixed reviews, you either love it or hate it, with no middle ground. Me being the former, I was worried that my friend’s opinion would contrast mine and have it potentially ruin her view of the coffee shop. Luckily, Teresa did enjoy the drink since it had a unique texture to it. The fluffy whipped cream surprisingly complements the fizzyness of the sparkling water, along with enough espresso to give you enough energy to face the day. It’s like a burst of emotions running all over your taste buds.
My trip to Andytown, essentially, was successful because I enjoyed every aspect of the food. I would definitely get the kale scone. Just reminiscing on the taste of the scone makes me want to go and purchase another one. Mina, on the other hand, wouldn’t recommend the hot chocolate, but she would get the kale scone again. Moreover, if you’re feeling adventurous, I definitely recommend trying the Snowy Plover because the unique taste elicits an explosion in your mouth.
Words and images by Jennifer Eng
*the before and after Andytown picture belongs to the Andytown facebook page*