Archive for September, 2015

ShakeDown: ice cream in the TL!

Posted in Around the Bay Area, ice cream with tags , , , on September 16, 2015 by junkfoodie

The Tenderloin in SF has long been known as a seedy area, with a lot of hidden food gems if you know where to look. It is now starting to gentrify, starting with the hipster bars, upscale restaurants and small boutiques. One could always go to the TL and find great Vietnamese food, authentic Thai cuisine, dive bars, hookers, crack or heroin. What it was not known for is a place for great ice cream…until now.

Shakedown outside

Shakedown SF 835 Geary St. SF 94109

Shakedown crew

the Shakedown crew

Shakedown is the coolest ice cream shop in the least likely location. Right in the thick of the TL, you might drive or walk right past it without giving it a second look, and that would be a mistake. The graffiti-style artwork covering the façade might have you mistake the place for another abandoned storefront or the latest skate shop, but inside you will find some fine artisanal ice creams made by some of the most down to earth people selling high end ice cream anywhere. These guys may look like they are running a craft brewery or tattoo parlor, but they are very passionate about their craft.

Ask any of them about their flavors, and you’ll see how much they care as they describe how their S’Mores ice cream is made with housemade marshmallows, graham crackers made from scratch, and chocolate ganache which is whipped up on site.

Order a scoop or two in a waffle cone and you’ll see how carefully they make the cone to order in front of you, delicately removing the hot waffle from the iron, rolling it by hand , then thoughtfully dropping a marshmallow (homemade no doubt) into the bottom of the cone to keep your ice cream from leaking out.

The flavors are some of the most interesting in the City. Their flavors change often, but if you can, try the Pennsyltucky (pieces of walnut chocolate chip pie swirled into bourbon ice cream), Jacker Crack (popcorn infused ice cream with swirls of dulce de leche & crushed peanut brittle), the aforementioned S’mores, or two of my favorites: the Acapulco Gold (pineapple ice cream with Grand Marnier) and the Pineapple Orange Guava sorbet ( made with Pineapple, Cara Cara oranges, SoCal guavas and coconut milk). They do great shakes and imaginative sundaes as well.

shakedown case

Not only do the décor and crew make this place perfect for the neighborhood, it’s also open late: until 11:00PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, Midnight on Fridays, 1:00AM Saturdays, and closed on Tuesday. The best part about this place is it is still relatively under the radar, so no Bi-Rite like lines! Come check it out next time you are in the area, we need to keep these guys around for a while.

Shakedown SF 835 Geary Street SF, CA 94109 (415)374-7523

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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse-SF

Posted in Around the Bay Area, bakery, pastry, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 12, 2015 by junkfoodie

baked sign

Mr. Holmes has become a cult favorite among Bay Area foodies for their “cruffins”, a good-intentioned mashup of a croissant and a muffin. Two lines form each day outside this bakery; one for folks wanting to buy a cruffin, and one for everyone else. Even the line for everyone else is long, so this tiny shop must be doing ok!

cruffin ladyThe line for the cruffins can actually start 30 minutes prior to opening. just before they are ready to open for the day, one of the Mr. Holmes employees will come out and happily hand each of those in the cruffin queue a sticker.

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Each sticker enables that person to purchase a maximum of 2 cruffins. This ensures that everyone with a sticker will be able to get one. At some point, whenever they run out of the allotted stickers, the employee will inform those still waiting in the cruffin line that did not receive a sticker that they are welcome to wait, but they are not guaranteed to get one! If all the sticker holders do not buy the maximum 2 cruffins, there may be some left! I’ve seen some people wait in line for almost an hour only to be told there are none left!

The cruffin flavors change daily, so you get what you get. We’ve had black walnut, chocolate cherry ( I think) and S’Mores. For me the cruffins are not bad depending on the flavor, but I actually prefer the filled doughnuts(especially  if they have passion fruit! ), the bostock, or even their “Amelie Amann”.

smores cruffinS’Mores cruffin

Wait Time: 1-1/2 cups of coffee

Hype factor: High

Lived up to the Hype: not for the cruffin

Signature item: cruffin

Fall back item: filled doughnut( especially the passion fruit!)

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Come back and visit for our next chapter in the Best of SF’s bakeries!

What’s with the line?: The best of SF’s bakeries

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2015 by junkfoodie

Anyone that has walked past one of San Francisco’s more popular bakeries will tell you, San Franciscans are willing to wait in line for their favorite bakeries. Tartine, B Patisserie, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, even Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown (when they are open) all seem to have lines at any hour of the day.

Mr. Holmes Line

Typical line at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

I’m not one for waiting in line in my own city, but in the name of research, I recently started waiting in line at these places to see if these places were worthy of the hype, and resulting line. I’ll fill you in on the wait, the vibe of the place, and whether or not it lives up to the hype.To make sure none of my readers leaves disappointed, I’ve listed the bakery’s signature item and also what to order should they run out of the first item.

I’m also going to list some more “under-the-radar” places with the signature and backup items listed as well. If you have any suggestions on places we need to know about, please drop me a line and I’ll make it there!