Thank heavens for my caffeine addiction and my mother's desire to take a walking tour of the Mission back in July...otherwise I might never have found Philz. The location's all screaming bright awnings, Mission murals, people hanging on the streets. Outside there's an assortment of mismatched chairs and plants. Inside is coffee for serious types. Twenty blends of coffee, store-bought Arabic pastries (I keep thinking I'll offer to make them some homemade kunefe, baklava and muhallabeya), muffins, cookies.
Philz is packed right now with hipster kids, scrabble players, queer couples, writers. I've seen ambulance crews and cops pile in for a shift rush. Once, a boy in a dress swept the sidewalk and watered the plants, and he didn't even work there. It's so writerly, Philz. Everywhere there are outlets, cords, things to trip on or bump into. You walk up to the counter and pick your blend, then pay at the register. My first time there we waited a good five minutes wondering why we weren't getting any coffee before Phil explained the system to us. Today I asked what a blend called New Manhattan tasted like, and was told that Phil said "it tastes like new downtown San Francisco." According to the wall chart, that meant a medium roast with lots of busy flavors and bright aromas. So I went with the Philtered Soul, a medium dark blend with chocolate notes that is seriously close to heaven.
And today is the perfect day for writing, baking, and knitting. I'm working on the New York update and a new piece of flash fiction.