Arlequin Food to Go

Overall Rating: 6.450

Address: 384 Hayes St.
Cross Street(s): Gough St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
Phone: 415.626.1211
Hours: M-F 8am-7pm; Sa 9am-7pm; Su 9am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 6.50
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Pavoni
Coffee Rating: 6.40
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 5
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Albalite
Price: $1.35
Last Update: 11/19/2005
First Reviewed: 11/19/2005
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Busy breakfast and sandwich spot with occasional live performances wedged into this tight space. Next door to its wine merchant namesake, this café has generally long ordering lines (far too long for just coffee - and what's with the credit card purchases?). There's a curved metal window counter with stool seating, a few indoor tables, and two metal sidewalk tables in front. Using a two-group La Pavoni, they pull an espresso with a thin, dark crema that coats the surface in patches. But they pour it appropriately short, so it has a good body and a surprisingly decent flavor that's primarily of an herbal pungency. Perhaps this is the result of Mr. Espresso training? Surprising, because otherwise this café subscribes to the "French coffee is good" fallacy: French posters, lattes with your choice of milk the size of dog bowls, etc. Unlike French cafés that have historically used the lower-grade robusta beans from former SE Asian French colonies, the coffee here is definitely Arabica and not bitter.