This is a sister deli to the Caffe Sport restaurant in North Beach. It is inconveniently located across the massive U.S. Post Office (the Embarcadero Postal Center) in a strange part of town where Beale Street dead ends at the Bay Bridge. Harrison Street actually runs some 30 feet above this corner of town — there’s a relatively non-descript stairwell that leads down from it. Sitting practically beneath the Harrison Street overpass, you’ll find this Italian deli tucked away in the side of the BridgeView building.
In addition to their deli counter, they sell pasta and other limited Italian grocery items. They also sell Mr. Espresso and Lavazza coffee beans. But at their espresso machine, they are big believers in serving Mr. Espresso.
Anthony (or Antonio), the barista and 22-year-old proprietor, is one of the friendliest baristas you will ever meet. He uses a three-group Faema E91 Ambassador to pull an espresso shot with a thick and rather rich layer of medium brown crema; it persists for a long time on an espresso filled tall in their Mr. Espresso-logo Nuova Point cups. Flavorwise, it doesn’t quite live up to the bold statement made by the crema and the cup’s other technical merits: it’s smooth, but the flavor of pepper and cedar is somewhat muted (perhaps due in part to the grind of coffee being too coarse). Still a very good espresso.
Just a word of caution when Anthony isn’t at the helm: some of the other staff aren’t as skilled, often extensively pre-grinding their beans.
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