Tartine Bakery & Café

Overall Rating: 6.600


Address: 600 Guerrero St.
Cross Street(s): 18th St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission
Phone: 415.487.2600
Hours: M-W 8am-7pm; Th-Sa 8am-8pm; Su 9am-8pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.80
Barista: 7
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 5.40
Aroma: 7
Body: 4
Brightness: 6
Crema: 6
Flavor: 4
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Medicinal
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $1.50
Last Update: 02/26/2006
First Reviewed: 06/21/2003
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Non-descript yet very popular French bakery/cafe. There are lines out the door weekend mornings, but then I have to fault part of that to their inability to ring up and serve a croissant and coffee at a rate of faster than one every two minutes (they are painfully slow and inefficient). Dark interior colors, shared tables in tight quarters, and plenty of sidewalk seating. Insanely good baked goods, various wines, and lunch fare. (In the fall of 2005 they opened up Bar Tartine for dinners at 561 Valencia nearby.) Trying to take espresso seriously, they have a separate, dedicated espresso bar and barista. They once had an antique espresso machine with an unusual design, levers, and valves (appeared to be an old Faema E61 Legend based on the groups), but they've since replaced it with a more standard, sturdy three-group La Marzocco Linea. But unfortunately, their dedication and investment into quality espresso can't escape the "French coffee curse". Served with a pale, thin crema in classic brown, thick-walled Nuova Point cups. This generally bright-tasting espresso has slight nutty and medicinal notes. But the thin body comes off entirely in the French style, resulting in an underwhelming cup that's little more than glorified drip coffee. It's not necessarily a bad espresso. But if you like a lot of milk in your coffee, I recommend drowning your espresso in their classic French café-au-lait-in-a-cat-bowl - it hides a lot of defects.