How does Quickly compare to Sweetheart?
Quickly or kuai ke li stores seem to be sprouting, um, quickly.
How do they compare to Sweetheart Cafes? The drinks, the snacks?
The first 4 pictures are taken in Oakland (new, 328 10th St
at Harrison & Webster), and the second 2 are taken near the Mission in San Francisco.
Oakland's 10th street is turning into a restaurant street.
After reading and participating in this thread today, I went and got bubble tea at the Quickly at Castro. I got a regular jasmine green tea (no milk) w/ boba. It was OK. The boba were pretty good, but like I remembered, a bit soft for my taste. But I've definitely had WAY worse, so overall probably a 7 out of 10. The tea was way too sweet, but I could have avoided this by saying "not too sweet" when I ordered, which I failed to do.
re: soft tofu
Sweetheart Cafe on 9th in Oakland is absolutely the best, even better than the Clement store. The Berkeley one is closest to me, and it's all right, but never as good as the Oakland mother store. Berkeley store offers fish balls on a stick, etc. but I don't remember the Oakland store offering anything hot, and they have a big selection of funky candy, and always a looong line.
I don't usually get snacks at milk tea joints, so I could only comment on the drinks.
The quality at Quickly tends to vary really widely from store to store. Most of the times that I've been to the Quickly on Polk, the pearls have been very bad -- wrong texture, torn up, with hard, practically unchewable bits -- so, not the least bit like a pearl should be: lightly soft and chewy, with a bit of bounce, and more-or-less spherical. I've pretty much given up on the Polk location. The one on Castro/Market is better, and I'd probably put the one at 24th/Mission somewhere between those two. I think of the Quickly stores I've been to, my favorite might be the one on Ocean, which can be sort of out-of-the-way, depending on where you are. I haven't been to the other SF ones recently enough to rank them well.
I prefer Sweetheart over Quickly by a large margin, though I have only been to the Oakland branch of Sweetheart. The tea is nice and full-bodied, and not overly sweet, and the pearls are generally good. The one thing I might fault them on is that the pearl to liquid ratio is too high, but it doesn't stop me from getting tea there anyway.
Ming Yuen in Oakland (on the edge of the Pac Ren Plaza) used to be one of my favorites in that area too, but I haven't been by in awhile.
I have only been to Quickly once in San Francisco (the one at Castro and Market) and the jasmine green tea with tapioca pearls I had was fine. In general, I find Quickly's boba to be too soft....this is based on Quickly in NYC and San Francisco. I guess this would vary from place to place though.
re: Dave MP
re: Dave MP
Having been addicted to boba drinks for quite some time, I find that the batches of tapioca can vary quite a bit, from sweetness to firmness. I found that the Tapioca
Express green tea, no milk, tasted more tea like and the Quickly was not as good. Snacks vary from store to store as well.
I don't know if you could see it clearly (the 4th picture above), but the menu is delightful.
Turnip cake $2.99
Fried dace balls,
Mixed fruit grass(?) jelly $4.99
Fried shrimp or
Cheese sticks $2.99
Sweet potato fries $2.99
Homemade French fries $1.99
Peanut butter waffle or
Pop dogs $2.99
Summer hot banana berry snow $3.50
Watermelon and aloe delight or
Mango and coconut delight $3.99
Durian snow $3.99
Papaya milk $3.75
And here's the menu board on the wall.