The San Francisco Project: Higher Grounds Coffee House… 3 down, 49 to go

18 Jan

Now it gets interesting… I am actively seeking out coffee shops, hidden gems in the small, local neighborhoods of San Francisco that almost never see a tourist.  I’m a local now, right?  So shouldn’t I act like one?

Glen Park is a small, quaint neighborhood in district 8, bordering Noe Valley, Bernal Heights and Diamond Heights.  Higher Grounds Coffee House caught my eye last week as I was on one of my expeditions, mainly because the tiny, informal cafe sat on the corner of Chenery Street.  Chenery Street is studded with tiny shops, weathered by time, evoking a sense of nostalgia that areas like Union Square and my neighborhood, Soma, could never create.

Higher Grounds Coffee House was a great escape this week, releasing me from the working confines of South San Francisco biotech conglomerates.  The atmosphere was most assuredly one that promotes creativity, mostly spoken for by the rounded wooden tables worn with the past etchings of those that pondered over their next words or pencil strokes.  Classical music surrounded you; large burlap sacks draped from the ceiling left me feeling as if I were one step away from harvesting the coffee beans myself.

There was a diverse clientele in this small setting: a young couple having a late lunch and laughing about their day, an artsy gentleman who claimed to have once taught Gwen Stefani how to draw, and then there was me.  Me, and my colleague, both of us with our Apple technology trying diligently to blend into this relaxed setting yet sticking out like sore thumbs.

The coffee was good, but it wasn’t great.  I had my typical cappuccino with a hint of raw sugar to sweeten the bitterness of the espresso.  The coffee shop didn’t offer free wifi, as a matter of fact, it didn’t offer wifi at all.  However, I guess this is one of the reasons I was drawn to this particular coffee shop in the first place.  It is simplistic: a release from the daily grind (no pun intended).  One doesn’t go there to catch up on e-mails, surf the web and coordinate calendars with matching laptops!  It is an escape from today… something we all need from time to time.

Unfortunately I did not try any pastries or food products during this visit to Higher Grounds.  It was purely about the coffee… for one who was trained by the Swedes to appreciate ‘real’ coffee, I would give Higher Grounds a B-.  But then again, who am I to judge?

Take this review for what you will, but if nothing else, should you find yourself strolling through Glen Park in the near future, make it a point to spend a few moments in Higher Grounds Coffee House.  Maybe you will be inspired to write your next novel…


One Response to “The San Francisco Project: Higher Grounds Coffee House… 3 down, 49 to go”

  1. Joerg January 21, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    U should write a restaurant guide and publish it!!!

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