Mel's Drive-In

Overall Rating: 4.200

Address: 801 Mission St.
Cross Street(s): 4th St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.227.4477
Hours: Su-Th 6am-3am; F-Sa 6am-4am
Type of Establishment: Restaurant (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 4.50
Barista: 3
Savvy: 2
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Laurentis
Coffee Rating: 3.90
Aroma: 4
Body: 3
Brightness: 3
Crema: 5
Flavor: 4
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Superior
Cup Manufacturer: Buffalo
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 12/12/2003
First Reviewed: 12/12/2003
Notes: None

They may advertise espresso in the window, but you'll get funny looks (I know I did) if that's all you order at the counter with a Starbucks around the corner. A diner chain inspired by "American Graffiti," it's all about burgers, countertop Rock-ola jukeboxes, paper hats, and coffee served from fishbowls. Even so, the espresso here is surprisingly passable. Pre-ground coffee is brewed and left to sit with their often glacial service (this is often a good place to be left alone). Their espresso is served with a medium brown, mottled crema. It's thin on flavor, but the flavor is decent (mild spice and pepper) and not over-extracted for the size of the pour.