|Four Barrel Coffee's spacious counter|
I couldn't spend a weekend in Berkeley and Mill Valley without squeezing in an afternoon roaming San Francisco's Mission district. But I've gorged on enough Tartine pastries; where else to go? After settling on Poc- Chuc via a little Internet intelligence and Four Barrel Coffee, which I first tasted at the Cognoscenti Coffee stand, I had a chance encounter on the BART platform with Josette, an adventurous and youthful retired French woman who was also spending the afternoon exploring San Fran.
She decided my food-focused itinerary sounded better than her cable car plan, so she joined me for lunch at Poc-Chuc, a pleasant Yucatecan refuge near the bustling Mission St./16th St. Bart station. Poc-Chuc was similar to the now-closed more formal version of Chichen Itza, but I found the cooking even more focused and luscious. Josette's prudent French appetite was stunned at the size of the generous plate of poc-chuc, the signature dish of grilled citrus-marinated pork, beans, rice, grilled onions and housemade tortillas.
|Seriously good plantains at Poc-Chuc|
|Grilled pork was tender and nicely caramelized|
|Making a pour-over at Four Barrel Coffee|
He'll ask you to specify if you want an espresso or a "pour-over" -- that's a drip cup made in a Clever Dripper filter which steeps the coffee more deeply than a normal drip filter. With its trendy mounted animal heads, rough-hewn tables filled with Macbook-using Missionites and retro soundtack, this is one seriously cool coffeehouse. I would have liked to also check out Dynamo Donuts for a Lemon Szechuan or Molasses Guinness, but I just couldn't fit in another bite. Must return to the Mission, soon.