Panera Bread

Overall Rating: 3.950


Address: 301 King St.
Cross Street(s): 4th St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94101
Neighborhood: China Basin
Phone: 415.777.2080
Hours: M-F 6am-9:30pm; Sa-Su 7am-9:30pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 4.50
Barista: 4
Savvy: 3
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 5
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Schaerer
Coffee Rating: 3.40
Aroma: 3
Body: 3
Brightness: 3
Crema: 5
Flavor: 4
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: XL
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Distant Lands Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Fábrica de Loza “El Ánfora”, S.A. de C.V.
Price: $1.79
Last Update: 02/11/2008
First Reviewed: 02/11/2008
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Review
This chain location is on a huge corner spot at 4th and King. It's so large, it feels out of place within city limits - as if it is suburban chain dining as a theme restaurant in the city, where you expect a full parking lot of behemoth SUVs and pickup trucks in back. Not helping the overly packaged feel are notes like "Cafe 4517" on your receipts. But even so, this Midwestern chain still manages to a few admirable things for its class. Once you get past the smooth jazz soundtrack and the updated Denny's feel, they offer multiple kinds of filter coffee in thermoses rather than on burning plates. But the espresso is still out of place. They use a single-group superautomatic Schaerer to pull shots of an insanely large pour - to the rim of a deep demitasse - with a blonde crema and inconsistent large bubbles suspended in it. It's even served without a saucer. It has a watered-down, diluted spice flavor. And when the questionable crema dissipates, is it really all that different from Phil'z Handmade Espresso a block down 4th St.?