Tag Archive for sandwiches

Kefa Coffee

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This place has a cult of appreciators for their breakfast sandwiches, which is why my visiting NC foodie friends insisted we check it out. It’s open only for breakfast and lunch and is located right off the fork between 29th and 23rd leading into Alameda.

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It is a simple fact of life that egg-and-cheeses are heaven on earth, and Kefa’s workers know how to offer them proper tribute. They take their preparations seriously, which results in a longer wait than you might expect for an egg-and-cheese. English muffins are toasted to a deep crisp, and the cheese is broiled to the point that it gets a plasticine outer shell. Note: that is not a complaint. True egg-and-cheeses bear both those marks of quality.

I went for the basic egg, bacon, and cheese.

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Top marks for the English muffin’s burnt edges, the cheese’s flavor and texture, and the sheer volume of egg, but my bacon was definitely burnt. As someone who microwaves her bacon because she hates it undercooked, that’s saying something. The bacon was rather salty as well.

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Éko Coffee Bar and Tea House

eko_01I’d been watching the Coming Soon! sign for this coffee shop with interest since I moved to Hayward in August. Downtown Hayward has few coffee options aside from the usual chain suspects. Though I enjoy both Snappy’s Café and the Bistro for my caffeine needs, Snappy’s is pretty small and the Bistro is more of a bar and music venue than a spot suitable for working. Sometimes, I just need that coffee shop escape from the home office.

Éko, which will have been open about a month at the time of this post, fits that bill. The contemporary atmosphere is appealing, especially the mod, black, circle chairs. Those are mixed in with marble tables, bursts of marsh green fabric along the booth row, and rust red and white walls. Excepting the fixed sunburst mirror and white decorative lamps in the alcove, the shop is decorated with local artwork.

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But atmosphere is only half the battle, and at a coffee shop, the coffee itself is of primary importance. Éko uses Mr. Espresso beans, which is based in Alameda and roasts its coffee over oak wood. You can taste that oak, whether having the coffee steeped through French press, pour-over, or cold brew. The baristas haven’t quite mastered all those techniques yet, but they’re getting there.

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I’ve had both a pour-over and a café au lait thus far and enjoyed the smoky and woodsy qualities they imparted. Those elements particularly shined in the pour-over; I’m still not entirely sure the café au lait’s milk wasn’t burnt, but I pretended otherwise and was perfectly happy with the drink. My husband had no complaints with his cappuccino.

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Never Too Latté

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This coffee shop has been well loved as the worn, comfy couches show. I consider that a plus in a coffee shop. Outlets abound, and except for a small lunch rush, it was pretty quiet over the couple of hours a friend and I spent there. The bakery case was only a third full at best, but the desserts inside looked quite appealing. However, we wanted lunch, which is a mix of sandwiches and crepes with mundane fillings. More importantly, we wanted to try their specialty espresso drinks. Yelp informed me that mighty fine latté art is available if you ask. So I did, and the barista sadly informed me that it’s not available for what I wanted due to the consistency of the mocha.

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But what I got was delicious anyhow. It was a pistachio mocha, and the texture was so fluffy! There was very little mocha taste, which was good because the pistachio was a lot subtler than expected but perfect that way.  My friend had the yin yang mocha instead, a blend of white and milk chocolates.

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She was able to get some artwork in her cup courtesy of chocolate and caramel syrups. Hooray!

For lunch, I decided on a tuna melt crepe.

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If you’re looking for a perfectly crisped French crepe, these aren’t them. But if you’re quite happy with a thin one without the golden edges, you’ll be fine. I honestly expected to just find it a satisfying lunch, nothing to write home about, but the tuna surprised me. It was spiked with mustard, just enough to give it a unique tang that tuna salad normally doesn’t offer. My friend’s chicken club sandwich had large chunks of chicken in it and a healthy helping of avocado.

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Never Too Latté’s espresso drinks are worth spending an afternoon in the coffee shop, and I have a feeling the desserts are also remarkable. The food is run-of-the-mill but still a good option. Next time I’m in the area, I will definitely try a red velvet latté—it’s another highly recommended drink and I have a feeling it’ll show off the foam artwork the best.

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Never Too Latté
486 San Mateo Avenue
The Avenue, San Bruno
Food: $2–$6
Coffee Drinks: $1.5–$4
Website

Never Too Latte on Urbanspoon

Reviewed 8 October 13.

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