Whole Foods Market

Overall Rating: 4.750

Address: 450 Rhode Island St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 17th & Mariposa Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: Potrero Hill
Phone: 415.552.1155
Hours: Su-Sa 8am-7pm
Type of Establishment: Grocery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 4.50
Barista: 3
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 3
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Franke
Coffee Rating: 5.00
Aroma: 3
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 3
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Chocolate-like
Coffee Beans: Allegro Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Oneida
Price: $1.45
Last Update: 01/23/2009
First Reviewed: 01/23/2009
Notes: Temperature Control Problems; Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales

This Whole Foods location was a bit of a construction project, with a parking garage underneath the store and a Whole Foods Market Bistro off to the lower, southeast corner. Like many Whole Foods Markets, the place is littered with green sloganeering covering a number of walls for that "Chairman Mao memorial" feel. (In fact, the long hallway from the parking garage exhaults enough odes to sustainable, social, and environmental causes that - if found in another era - the wall could easily be mistaken for the hieroglyphical praise of a pharaoh's immortal spirit inside an ancient Egyptian pyramid.) At this corner entrance there are several simple tables and counter seating at tall stools beneath large glass windows. At the counter of the coffee bar they sell pastries, cold drinks, gelato, and various coffee concoctions - with a full-service grill at the back. Drinking coffee here, let alone eating, is a cacophony of odd noises: encoded mumblings over the grocery store PA system, annoying store phone ringers, order buzzers, and a string of other jarring ambient sounds. For espresso, they have two Franke superautomatic machines and bold eco-branding featuring their use of "Allegro Handcrafted Coffee". Their unskilled baristas use them to push-button pull shots of a correctly moderate size, yet they have a thin film of a pale, almost sickly crema and they arrive at a tepid serving temperature. The shortness of the shot saves it from being a complete disaster, as it has some measure of body and un-filter-coffee-like flavor: some cedar and baker's chocolate without much distinct pepper, spice, nor herbal elements. This is remarkably consistent with other Whole Foods locations for both good and bad reasons (mostly not-so-good). Though here they do offer the option of Rego (Oneida) porcelain cups and saucers.