Posts Tagged ‘ cafe review ’

Wicked Grounds: Where the Sex Geeks Write

This is a 5-star review

Wicked Grounds
289 8th St at Clementina
SoMa, San Francisco

If you’ve never spent time in the kink community, you might not expect it to be as geeky as it is. You might imagine the whips and chains party spaces to feel more like a beefcake gym than a campus study room. But anybody who’s spent any real time at a sex club or dungeon in this town knows that plenty of the players in our kink community are total brain-iacs: writers, scientists, educators, and health care researchers.

Don’t believe me? You don’t have to creep around in the shadows of a sex club to see this celebrated subculture in action. Go sit in a café, mind your own business, and soak up the friendly, sassy, study hall vibe at Wicked Grounds.

There’s no better place for such a gentle introduction to the world of kink than this  café/gallery/playspace/community center. The vibe is warm–and hot–just a teensy bit cruisey. The wifi works great, and there are plenty of people writing on laptops, so yes, you can also come to Wicked Grounds for my favorite café pastime: writing. Folks are studying here. My table is stable. And my cookie is fresh baked. The music is familiar and pleasant. The customer service is top notch.

Wicked Grounds welcomes anyone with an open mind to come on in and participate at whatever level makes you comfortable. Flirt with the adorable and knowledgeable baristas. Purchase a naughty birthday card. Take in an erotic painting. Get down on the floor and sip your coffee from a doggie bowl, you dirty little pig! You can dabble, or you can go all the way. Nobody’s going to judge you. Nobody cares.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for small businesses in your neighborhood too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Where the Professionals Work: Caffé Bianco

This is a 5-star review

39 Sutter St
San Francisco’s Financial District

Sometimes I like to hang out in the Financial District, land of the diagonal crosswalk, women who pair their corporate drag with sneakers, and men who still smoke cigars. When I’m here, I like to get lunch and a little writing done at Caffé Bianco.

This place feels like an old boys’ club hangout. The owner’s at the counter and has been for thirty years. Next door you can get your shoes shined. Suits huddle at tables, talking finance. I don’t know if they’ve got a wifi connection or many available electrical outlets, but nobody’s going to throw you out for opening your laptop either. People here are working, whether they’re puzzling a crossword on their lunch hours or sealing a mega deal with a venture capitalist.

I can get a pot of tea that’s properly brewed or a lovingly crafted espresso drink, and the lunch selection boasts hot pasta dishes, intriguing salads, and the usual sandwich fare, all at very reasonable prices.

I love the architecture too: the grand column in the middle of the seating area, the dark passage from Sutter to Market, and the great sunny widows, where I like to sit. When I want an even more serious focus in the air around me, I brave the treacherous stairs to the glamorous balcony, where the upper window, railing edge, and mirrored walls create an airy atmosphere that’s great for writing.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for small businesses in your neighborhood too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Elite Audio Coffee Bar Rocks

This is a 4-star review

893A Folsom St
San Francisco’s SOMA district

The service is top notch, and the concept literally rocks. Owner Michael Woods has a dream, and he’s making it happen in full surround sound right here on The Sexy Grammarian’s own block.
The blue bottle coffee is strong and brewed one cup at a time by super friendly baristas. They have a few pastries and a decent tea selection. The place is intimate. And although the seating’s not designed for a writer to camp out for hours and write, I found myself doing so  because the staff’s so welcoming, the music’s so good, the design’s so beautiful. And I’m only a hop and a skip from home, which is sometimes all I need to get myself writing: a half block walk.
The sign says coffee and wine, but so far it’s just coffee and tea. I look forward to their wine and beer license.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your writing and good for the economy too. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Mo’z Cafe: Canned Soup?

This is a 2-star review

36 5th St (near Market)
San Francisco, CA 94103

The man at the front counter welcomes me with a “glad to have your business smile” even though he’s busy. The menu surprises me, and although I haven’t tasted the soup yet, I’m already lusting after the guy’s salad next to me. Those are fresh-cooked, not crunchy canned noodles on top of that chicken salad! I review the menu while I wait. It’s abundant with food and drink choices, including beer and wine and a decent tea selection

I open my laptop. Wifi’s intact. People use this place for lunch as well as laptop work, so you can hangout and relax, whatever your café agenda. It smells good in here, and I even find the wobbly table easy to shim.

I’m happy until I have my soup. Disappointing. Canned.

I put a ton of salt and pepper in the soup, which is unusual for me. And I’m still too uninspired to actually eat the whole bowl of minestrone or get any real writing done.

Since it’s in my ‘hood, I’ll probably be back but not for food. Mo’z is one of those cafes that’s trying to please everybody by having an impressive menu, but they’d do better hiring a cook and letting that professional create a more delectable menu. Or maybe it’s just the soup.

Take yourself out to a cafe to write. It’s good for your inner writer and for the economy! This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Atlas Cafe: Where The Beautiful People Come And Go

This is a 3-star review

3049 20th St at Alabama St
San Francisco, CA 94110

This place has its drawbacks: wobbly tables and cheap chairs, chaotic customers with antsy kids and dogs, shoddy wifi, a shortage of electrical outlets, and Egads!—the music! I am trying to use my head—not bang it against the wall!

But I have always loved you, anyway, Atlas Café. Maybe it’s because so many beautiful people come and go. Maybe it’s the abundant magazine rack or the cheerful staff. Or maybe it’s your tantalizing and unique sandwich menu and the fact that I can get beer. Or maybe it’s the great memories. In this place I’ve written the first half of a novel and had some of the most stunning conversations of my life. So I will always love Atlas Cafe, and I’ll keep coming back, seeking inspiration.

This February, we’re romancing the writer, and one sexy way to do that is to take yourself out to a cafe to write. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

How To Write In A Café

I sit alone, looking chic, ankles crossed under the café table, elbows upon it. My pen rests at the uplifted tip of my chin while I think, smile to myself, and then pounce on my open journal to write something clever. Beside my journal sit my delicate cappuccino cup, my nibbled cookie, and perhaps a few books. I am in writer heaven.

And here’s the thing—I can totally have this fantasy as much as I want. It’s really easy to achieve. It makes me feel like I live in a dream. And I get writing done.

Let me repeat that: I get writing done!

So it’s a valuable pastime, I say. Here’s how to do it:

 What to Bring:

  1. Writing Materials: Travel light. You’ll look cuter at your café table without all that baggage. And if the first café you wander into isn’t perfect for you, it won’t be so annoying to pack up and leave. You don’t want to be too weighed down for this activity. You’ll stay and write a couple hours, not for two days. This is a café. Here’s what I usually pack for a café day:
  • laptop and reading glasses
  • travel notebook and pen
  1. Writing Buddy: Not always. Often, the writer-in-café fantasy requires that I travel solo. But sitting in a café with a fellow writer, practicing the art of writing with a friend, can be just as glamorous and just as productive as the lone-wolf approach. In a good writing buddy I seek:
  • somebody who’s as interested in writing as I am
  • somebody who’s easy to talk to as well as negotiate with
  • somebody with a positive attitude and basic cheerleading skills, in case I need a writer’s pep talk
  1. Money for Hourly Purchases I appreciate a good café, and I know the best way to show that and to keep the best ones in business is to pay a little rent while the cafe fuels and houses my creativity. I try to buy something approximately every hour. Here’s a typical buying schedule for me:

9am arrival:              buy a pot of tea $4

10:15am:                    ask for a teapot hot water refill and buy a cookie to go with it $2

11:25am:                    order lunch ahead of the crowd $10

1pm:                            buy a cup of coffee $2

2pm:                            get a coffee refill and another cookie; leave around 3pm $2

What To Do:

  1. Indulge: Remember, it’s your fantasy. Wear what a writer would wear in your fantasy. Order a beverage you would drink in your writer fantasy. Look out the window. Daydream. Take a picture of yourself! You’re a real writer!
  2. Listen: Inspiration is all around you. Instead of disliking the Chatty Cathy at the table next to you, study her speaking pattern, steal her drama for a story idea. Enjoy the musical Russian roulette of somebody else’s music choice. Delight your ears in the sounds of a café, the espresso machine steaming, the coffee grinder clanking, and the baristas hollering out drink orders. It’s all a part of the dream.
  3. Write: You may have planned some writing projects, but let yourself warm up with some free writing. Describe the place you’re in. Review it! Talk to yourself about the joy of being a writer in a café. Enjoy at least a little time writing whatever you feel like writing. But also, work on what you’ve brought with you. Let yourself read over your notes. Write some new material. My café writing schedule might look something like this:
    1. Chat or listen awhile upon arrival. Discuss or write down what I hope to achieve at the café today.
    2. Have some quiet time to write. I suggest a 40-60 minute interval. I’m always pleased to note that my focus is sharper and my eyes wander less when I’m sitting near others who are also writing.
    3. Have a snack, meal, or a drink break. Discuss my achievements and frustrations with my writing partner or just enjoy the writerly ambiance.
    4. If there’s time, begin again.

Where To Go:

I’m always on the lookout for a new café where the coffee is classy and the inspiration is free. Check out my café reviews on Yelp, and give your favorite writing café a shout out in the comments below.

This February, we’re romancing the writer, and one sexy way to do that is to take yourself put to a cafe to write. On Yelp you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Cafe de la Presse

This is a 4-star review.

352 Grant Ave
(at Bush St)
San Francisco, CA 94108

I didn’t care for this place the first time I went, but that was because I despise an egg-centric brunch menu, we sat in the somewhat less-lovely basement, and I hadn’t gone there to write. The food’s a bit over-priced, the menu predictable, and the patrons all tourists.

But the hot cocoa! This place has become one of my absolute favorite little cafes for a romantic date with myself to write. I never look at the menu anymore—I just let the waiter know I’m alone, here for a cocoa, and would love a seat near the window. They always happily oblige.

The cocoa comes in a precious little silver pitcher. It’s served with a cup and saucer. If you say yes to whipping cream—It’s February! Have a heart!—you’ll find it in the cup, waiting to be drenched at your will. A tiny paper tube of sugar garnishes the saucer. The chocolate is that perfectly bitter that you might want to add sugar.

This is not a place for laptop writing. It’s for writing in your fine leather journal with your yummiest pen. It’s for pretending you’re in Paris or Prague or any European city you fancy and gazing out the window, daydreaming. It’s for a romantic little date with you and your inner writer.

This February, we’re romancing the writer, and one sexy way to do that is to take yourself out to a cafe to write. This review has been cross posted on Yelp, where you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.