sanfrancisco (35)
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Tartine Manufactory Blood orange sorbet and cardamom soft serve: Tartine Manufactory closes its bakery section, including soft serve, for dinner service, but if you ask nicely, they will serve it (as I found out last night). This swirl of blood orange and cardamom was one of the best things I ate all year, with potently spiced cardamom and sharp citrus. The texture was smooth and consistent. Often, independent flavors in swirled soft serve compete and don’t quite work in harmony, but this unexpected combination was both balanced and even better with one a... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 serve soft cardamom sorbet orange blood tartinemanufactory bloodorange softserve icecream sanfrancisco sf exceptional
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Swensen’s Lychee ice cream: Swensen’s is a historic ice cream shop in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood. Opened in 1948, it now has locations around the world. I don’t find myself in this neighborhood very often, so the last time I was there, I finally got a chance to try it. They offer a bevy of flavors, mostly traditional favorites, but I got a scoop of lychee. Unfortunately, the ice cream had an overly icy, almost clumpy texture, and though it had sizable pieces of lychee throughout, the moisture content of ... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 cream ice lychee swensens sanfrancisco sf icecream
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Saigon Bakery Che Ba Mau: I’ve always been curious about the array of brightly colored pre-made beverages / desserts at Saigon Bakery in the Tenderloin District of SF and decided to finally try one. This one was a pastel mint green color, but others were a muted violet. They are typically covered with saran wrap, even though there is a plastic lid on the cup. The drink itself has an aggressively sweet coconut flavor, and on the bottom is a mix of chewy and soft textures, including green gelatinous strips (similar ... (read more) 3.0/5.0

sanfrancisco 3.0 mau ba che saigonbakery dessert vietnamese drinks
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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse California Croissant: Topped with sesame seeds, thin strips of nori, and wasabi powder and filled with smoked salmon, the California Croissant from San Francisco bakery Mr. Holmes is more interesting in concept than in execution. The best bites were ones containing minced ginger, but those were a minority. Overall, while the texture of the croissant itself was satisfying, the salmon was overcooked. The packaging is a bit of an embarrassment of riches, served in a plastic takeout container with packets of soy t... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 croissant california mrholmesbakehouse sanfrancisco salmon nori
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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Peach Cardamon Danish: An entire think piece could be dedicated to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a pastry shop in the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin district. The Dominique Ansel Bakery of SF, it has an equally iconic dessert: the Cruffin. A cross between a muffin and croissant, the Cruffin is filled with a seasonal cream and is made in limited quantities, requiring those willing to wait to get in line early (the bakery opens at 7am on weekdays). But unlike DA Bakery, Mr. Holmes is not based in the SOHO of SF. To... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 danish cardamon peach mrholmesbakehouse sf sanfrancisco pastry desserts recommended
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iTea Guava green tea with lychee jelly and boba: I can’t tell if the fruit teas are generally underwhelming or the quality of this bubble tea shop has just declined over time, but this guava green tea from iTea on Kearny in SF was too sweet, even at 30% sweetness, with a syrupy taste and no trace of green tea. Contains lychee jelly and boba, both of which were decent. Lines were incredibly long at the end of a weekday. Questioning whether I should just stop returning to this once-favorite place. 2.0/5.0

2.0 boba jelly lychee tea green guava itea sf sanfrancisco bubbletea drinks