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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Four Barrel: Cafe Visit #89

Four Barrel Okay, I stumbled across this cafe and knew I had to check it out. It’s in The Mission, which is fast becoming THE spot in SF for a great cuppa Joe, what with Philz and Ritual Grounds also in the neighborhood. Anyway, the tables in this place are made from massive barn beams exiting from the wall and terminating into the floor. On one wall, four boar heads hang, overlooking the proceedings. In the back quarter is the mighty roaster, it’s fan belt churning as employees lug humongous bags of beans across the floor. So the atmosphere is a definite plus.

And then there’s the coffee.

Perfect. Just perfect. Had a soy latte and in addition to it looking good, it tasted equally so. Very smooth and creamy. In fact, I think they’re using the same beans/brews as Ritual Grounds, about 5 blocks away and home of the very best cuppa Joe in the city.

Okay, here’s the rub. This is a coffee lovers spot first and foremost. I arrived a little after noon and there was a single croissant left in the pastry case. No food. At all. Not a lot of non-coffee offerings either. But get this – nomads beware! I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a less-friendly atmosphere for working. It’s obviously intentional, and frankly, with coffee this good they can get away with it. I think there was only one other person on a laptop when I was there. This place has NO outlets and NO wifi! In this day and age that’s more than odd! Come for the coffee, then leave.

FourBarrel Cup Coffee: A+ – this is the place to be for a good cuppa joe
Atmosphere: A+ -- Beautiful. Fairly comfortable
Social atmosphere: B -- Good. More couches would be nice though
Outlets: F – None
Hours: B-  (M-S: 7-8, Sun 8-8)
Free Wifi: F – Not available
Paid Wifi: F -- None
Nomads: F -- Seek other places to get your work on

Overall Grade: B+ This place has it goin on as the coffee rocks and the atmosphere is inviting. That is, unless you need to get some work done. A B+ may seem a little high, but for hanging with friends and sharing a good cuppa joe made from freshly roasted beans, well, you could do much worse.

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.