I spent most of last week in San Francisco, working with Andrew Pask on a bunch of secret sauce for an upcoming Max-based product. I couldn't stand the idea of staying in a hotel anymore this summer, so I begged and weaseled my way into staying with co-worker Lilli in Castro Valley. It's a bit of a drive, and I was blazing in early every day to have Andrew lay some clarinet tracks for a production gig I'm doing.
I was leaving every day at 6:30 am. Anyone that knows me will tell you that it is more likely that I'd still be awake at 6:30 than it is for me to be waking up then. Nevertheless, I made the daily trek into the city, braved my way across the Bay Bridge and set up shop at the office for the duration.
If you know where the Cycling office is in San Francisco, you'll also know that it isn't the center of the universe for lively early-morning eats. The office has a coffee/espresso machine, but you know how that goes (coffee that is made for you always taste 10x better than coffee you make for yourself). Luckily, the co-workers clued me into a hole-in-the-wall kiosk for Blue Bottle Coffee at 315 Linden - a half-block away.
Man, was it sweet.
It's basically a garage door that opens to the street, and it features all of the charm of a recycling center. But the staff was extraordinarily friendly, and the drinks they made were perfection. They obviously know what they are doing, and are rewarded with a steady stream of thankful and happy customers.
If you ever find yourself on Linden between 8th and 9th - and I really don't know why in the world you might - you should stop, enjoy one of the best Au Lait's on the planet, and give them your business.
I suspect they'll own the whole block within a year.