It was a lovely Saturday morning in the Tenderloin when I walked down the hill to meet Jessie and Justin at Hooker’s.
Before this place opened the space belonged to another little coffee place, Chez Momo I think? I only went once, and Steve got coffee but I didn’t.
Hooker’s was making caramels before they opened this cafe, and they’d become pretty popular locally. When word got out that they were opening a coffee spot, people got pretty excited. Pretty, pretty excited (that’s my Larry David impression. Get it?). So excited that they tried to convince themselves that Hyde and Ellis is in a much nicer neighborhood than it actually is. Many referred to it as a “Tendernob cafe” and some even attempted to claim it was Nob Hill. I don’t generally like to quibble about this kind of stuff (ha ha, jk, of course I do) but I think once you’re below O’Farrell it’s extremely difficult to deny that you. are. in. the. loin. period. But being in the Tenderloin proper takes nothing away from how nice a cafe the Hooker’s peeps opened up!
It’s a pretty fucking adorable spot. I have to begrudgingly admit that I like it, because I like cutesy shit, and this place really appeals to my asthetic. It’s fancy coffee, so it could easily go hipster sneery, but they keep it pretty low key. Instead the vibe is warm and inviting.
The whole store is similar in size to farm:table, and there is the same communal table situation. However, I could handle it this time, since I wasn’t there by my lonesome, but with a couple friends. Probably I would be uncomfortable if I were alone. In fact, that’s the title of my autobiography; Mel Roska, Uncomfortable at Any Speed. Yeah, I don’t like it either.
You order the french press coffee and you get your french press and this little timer so you know when it’s ready. You also get this cute little enamel pitcher of cream.
The coffee is good. I’m suspicious of all these roasters that have been popping up, I find the coffee to be very hit and miss. At Hooker’s they serve Sightglass, which I hadn’t tried before, but I’ll add them to the list of acceptable brews.
Here’s what you get if you order the bread pudding (ugh please excuse the horrible and unappetizing picture. just awful.)
This is not something I ever need to eat by myself again. Certainly not for breakfast. But holy moly, that’s some good stuff. Sweet to be sure, though I enjoyed and I’ve been having issues with things being “too sweet” recently, so unless you absolutely have no sweet tooth you should be good with this.
Justin and Jessie split a savory biscuit.
There were mixed feelings about it. I didn’t try it, but as I recall it sounded appealing, I just had too much bread pudding happening to even attempt any other food.
Look! It’s adorable, I told you. It’s almost a little much…like, I can see that it’s a little much. I can understand that. I just love it; I can’t help it! I haven’t been back to Hooker’s since this first visit, but in writing this post I’ve certainly convinced myself the time for second visit is now.
Hooker’s Sweet Treats
442 Hyde St