Tucking in my 1,500 calorie breakfast: Starstream in San Francisco
A friend and I visited Starstream, the cafe outpost from the Goody Goodie people (whose excellent cookies are sold at Vega/Special Xtra/Grand Prix and at their counter on Folsom). Saturday is waffle day, when they crank up the grill and prepare topping-bedecked masterpieces until 2 p.m. Blue Bottle coffee is served in the usual formats.
The standard menu options include a plain waffle with add-on toppings like whipped cream and compote, and a "waffogato" with Mitchell's vanilla bean ice cream and Blue Bottle espresso. This morning the specials included a "Papi" with gruyere, bechamel and rosemary ham; B-A-N-A-N-A-S with "torched" banana, creme fraiche and ganache; and the Hot Mama with peanut butter and pickles.
The waffle is heavy (but not leaden) and caramelized because of turbinado mixed into the batter, which results in a toothsome texture and faintly glittering exterior. Because it's neither floppy nor fluffy, it stands up well to heavy toppings.
My friend, who is on a wheat-free diet (for waistline and not allergy reasons) made an exception and got a plain waffle that he demolished in 30 seconds; he also ordered an "egg in a hole"--a fat piece of toast with a star cut-out to nest the egg. I went B-A-N-A-N-A-S, and probably consumed 2/3 of my calories for the week (ok, weekend. ok, hour) with the lovely house-made ganache, full of rich cocoa flavor. The tang of the creme fraiche played nicely against the banana, which was halved and then caramelized--whipped cream would have been overload.
I think the standard waffle (no toppings) was around $3.50; the specials ran from $6.50 to $7.50. The decor is cheerful: gum-pink walls, milky blue cake stands, orchids and cut flowers. There are big and little cafe tables that could seat about 20. The counter staff (who may have been the owners?) were charming.
Blue Bottle Cafe
66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103