P�tisserie Philippe

Overall Rating: 6.550

Address: 655 Townsend St.
Cross Street(s): Bwtn 7th & 8th Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.558.8016
Hours: M-F 8am-6pm; Sa 8am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery
Cafe Rating: 6.50
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating: 6.60
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 6
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: BIA Cordon Bleu
Price: $1.50
Last Update: 03/23/2009
First Reviewed: 07/18/2008
Notes: None

Located across the street of a parking garage, in a roadside "strip mall", and around a cluster of software company buildings where SF looks like it tries to be downtown San Jose. Chef and namesake co-proprietor, Philippe Delarue, of Le Mans, France, makes some serious French pastries - including Macarons and meringues of pastel colors. They also serve salads, croissants, and cookies. The walls are covered with color photos of pastries and framed mirrors. A few nice wood and black marble caf� tables line along a long window. There are (faux) flowers and, of course, the obligatory large caf� au lait bowls. Using a two-group E-91 Ambassador Faema supplied by Mr. Espresso (they also use their beans), they produce a rather delicate espresso with a thinner layer of darker brown crema. It has a sweet aroma, a good body from its appropriate size, and there's a little bite at the end of the finish from a cup that has a robust spice and herbal pungency to its flavor. Served in a short, cylindrical demitasse. This is no French espresso: it's actually decent. Trouble is that it can be inconsistent: they don't grind to order, and on revisits the shot has had an ashier aroma and a less delicate flavor.