new on Gough@Grove: dragonEats & Hayes Valley Bakeworks [San Francisco]
Three of the best are working the Cash Only counter at dragonEats at 520 Gough Street; our Spring Rolls, rice Noodle Bowl with Pork, and Papaya Salad w/Shrimp - all fresh and bright with $6 deliciousness made us sigh with pleasure. Gotta love this crew - they're doing great!
Next door at Hayes Valley Bakeworks, it's Four Barrel coffee and a multitude of baked offerings, including sandwiches and pizza. Friendly service is welcoming and gracious. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied.
I remembered cynsa's review when we were in Hayes Valley today for lunch, and we stopped at both dragonEats + Hayes Valley Bakeworks.
dragonEats was fantastic--super friendly staff that even sent out a little portion of soup so we could try it along with our bun. The soup was very fragrant with ginger, and seems like a good head cold/rainy day remedy.
They had about 20 boxes of spring rolls boxed and ready to go, so nice quick lunch option if you're in the neighborhood. Specials menu had some items of interest, like duck banh mi. We had the chicken bun, which was much more salady than any other version I've had, tons of greens, veggies and fried garlic on a small pile of rice noodles. Nice flavor to the chicken.
Hayes Valley Bakeworks is a nonprofit helping homeless and at-risk adults learn work skills and earn money to improve their lives. The interior design is really lovely--clean, bright and warm, with a wall devoted to a huge display of old rolling pins. He got a cacao nib gluten-free cookie, which he liked a lot; I only wanted a Four Barrel coffee. The granola looked great, as did the coffee cake make with Four Barrel coffee.
I've been deeply disappointed by my visits here. I want to love them for what they're doing, and the descriptions of their food sound delicious, but they've failed to deliver multiple times. And for the price of their products, I really want more, so I just walk right by now. The cinnamon roll was hefty, but didn't deliver much in terms of bacon, maple, or cinnamon flavor. Pretty much just a dough bomb. Cookies were fine, but too small to justify the price. Haven't tried any of the lunch items, but not likely to be back.
We stopped into DragonEats after lunch across the street at Boxing Room because my mother wanted a Vietnamese coffee after her Mardi Gras king cake. DragonEats uses Cafe du Monde coffee+chicory, so it felt on theme. Nice job on the coffee, $3, and I had a homemade lemonade, $3.
We got a noodle bowl with roast pork, $6, essentially bun to go for later. I would have preferred more rice noodles. The pork is marinated then baked in the oven. It turned out to be quite dry.
The staff were very friendly and quite solicitous of my mom.
DragonEats will be opening a second location at Folsom & Second in about two months.