Iron Horse Coffee Bar

Overall Rating: 6.350


Address: 25 Maiden Lane
Cross Street(s): Btwn Kearny St. & Grant Ave., inside Romper Room bar
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94108
Neighborhood: Union Square
Phone: 415.622.9629
Hours: M-F 8:30am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 5.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 4
Presentation: 2
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.50
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: -0.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Paper
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 08/18/2015
First Reviewed: 08/18/2015
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Review
Opening in early 2015, this daytime coffee cubbyhole/pop-up might remind you of the Cafe Lambretta chain of miniscule coffee shops south of Market St. But instead of Blue Bottle Coffee they serve Ritual Coffee Roasters. Plus as a daytime front to the Romper Room bar, they offer the option to spike your coffee drink as a variety of caffè corretti. You'll find it in the pedestrian-friendly Maiden Lane alleyway by the "Coffee that doesn't suck" signs - perhaps a less lame version of "World's Best Coffee" for a modern era - placed around the feeding streets and walkways on its perimeter. You'll also notice it by the two baby blue café tables in the middle of the street out front of the Romper Room entrance. Named after the restaurant that stood here in 1950, the service counter barely takes up the front entrance with a sign, a two-group La Marzocco GB5, large bags of Ritual, alcohol bottles, and a few Lucky Charms cereal bowls. For indoor seating you can sit at one of the barstools at a counter that runs along the opposite wall. Using Ritual's Ursa Major blend, they pulled shots with a striped darker and medium brown crema. It's pulled as a rather long shot, but it still holds up in body - so they're dosing their portafilters quite heavily. Even so, at $3 served in a paper cup at a pop-up with no amenities, there's no reason they should be charging the exorbitantly highest rates for espresso shots in all of SF. The quality is decent but nothing special. It has flavors of pungent herbs and some spice and surprisingly limited acidic brightness for Ritual. Unless you want to "correct" your coffee, enjoy sitting in Maiden Lane, or it's just too convenient, I would keep walking.