Ah, San Fran, San Fran… After FoodBuzz Street Food Fare Welcome Reception, Sherman, JS/TS and Mijune, each one of us called it a night. However, since we didn’t necessarily planned to attend all FoodBuzz events for the morning, we decided to tag along for some other activities. In my case, Sherman and I agreed to meet for breakfast and go from there, which included looking for some good eats outside of the San Francisco area. But, that is jumping ahead so, for this post, breakfast.
Here is a bit of a curve ball: while the hotel did offer continental breakfast, how exciting that would have been as blogging material? I guess not much. So, we decided to look for nearby options and option #1 had a somewhat ridiculous queue… At 8:00 a.m.! How bad it was? Imagine a breakfast version of Stepho’s… 1 hour queue? For breakfast??? While walking around, Sherman mentioned Taylor Street Coffee Shop (TSCS) as an option. Sure, why not!
Since the hotel was in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco but still really close to Union Square, one would think nearby restaurants would follow the “trendiness” of the shops near Union Square. Well, actually, a lot of them were; however, TSCS was anything but. If you see in the picture above, you could easily surmise this is a dive. And, when we walked in, those thoughts were partially confirmed. Nothing fancy and that would work fine for me!
After perusing the menu, we observed the “usual suspects”: eggs, ham/bacon/sausage, hash, pancakes/French toast, omelette and so on. And then there were lunch type items like sandwiches and burgers. Given the time of the time, we focused solely on breakfast dishes, which included:
Sherman ordered toast while I ordered sourdough. It was your usual slices of breads so, from that perspective, not much to comment about. Actually… Given this type of shop, I thought the toast was a bit past the burn point (or at least past certain point). As for the sourdough… No, sorry, it was barely any of that sourdough characteristic. In fact, it tasted borderline white sliced bread! >_< I mean, this is San Francisco, you would think their sourdough would be “better”! Anyway, these are just slices of bread so moving on…
Dish #1 was the Meat Lover’s Special which has a “Ham Steak, bacon (3), breakfast sausage (3), two eggs and toast”. For an additional $1.50, the breakfast sausages were switched for two links of chicken apple sausage. The eggs were ordered sunny side up and the only “flaw” would be the fact it was slightly overcooked, i.e., part of the egg yolk was “hard” already. The ham was a bit salty but I guess that’s expected. As for the sausage: Well, I thought it had a bit too much earthy taste. Again, depending on how you like yours… Finally, the one part that disappointed from that dish: the bacon. From the looks, you could say it was quite well cooked which, by itself, it is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem was that it was extremely salty! C’mon people, do you have to make it so salty?!
For dish #2, we went to the other end of the spectrum: we ended up ordering a dish that, in a way, I thought didn’t necessarily fit the dive type description of the restaurant considering the ingredients included. Here, their Sailor’s Hash – “Seasoned hash browns topped with eggs scrambled in garlic butter, shrimp, Dungeness crab, jalapeño and bacon. Covered with cheese, scampi shrimp, smoked salmon“. Yup, you read it right: It has salmon, it has shrimp, it has Dungeness crab!
And, I will have to admit that dish was as promised: the flower salmon, the shrimp and some strands of crab. The hash was actually quite good and the egg/cheese combination provided a nice, hearty (not to mention artery clogging) breakfast. However, the part that would, in theory, make it sound out made me have mixed feelings: The salmon provided some contrast but the shrimp and, more importantly, the crab wasn’t really noticeable. In fact, if I were eating it blindfolded, I won’t have noticed it!
At this point, one would say TSCS delivers what it promises. And, I will have to admit that’s true. However, there is one major factor that would prevent me from consider it as an option next time I am in San Francisco: Price. See, for the location, I wasn’t expecting to be paying $10+ for these dishes! (Though willing to give them some allowances considering it is in the Tenderloin). OK, probably the Sailor’s Hash considering the ingredients used but, then again, this is a dive! OK, let’s assume I would be willing to fork the $$$. If that’s the case, I still won’t return. Why being so harsh? That’s because, on our last day in San Francisco, we went to a place that I thought was way superior to this and at the same/lower price… As a result, no coming back for me.
Update: And here is Sherman’s post of Taylor Street Coffee Shop!