Wednesday, May 15, 2013

San Francisco Edition: Loving Cup

My recent trip to the West Coast did - naturally - lead me to great food and particularly desserts. I admit that I had done my research in advance and knew of a few places that were worth checking out, but I came across a few unexpected gems as well and can't wait to tell you about them.

While I wouldn't say that San Francisco has a better or larger variety of sweets on offer than Washington DC, atmosphere does makes a difference. And eating a cup of rice pudding on the grass, the sun in your back, with a view of the ocean and the pier is priceless. That is what I did. On my way to Fisherman's Wharf I stopped by Loving Cup, a small café on Polk Street that was just recently featured on 7x7 magazine's "50 treats to eat in SF before you die" list for its coconut rice pudding. So yes, I got the coconut rice pudding! And some of the lemon vanilla rice pudding as well. After all, who knew if I was going to ever return.

I was a tiny bit underwhelmed by the coconut rice pudding because it just didn't have much flavor. The consistency was great. thick and creamy and mixed with coconut shavings, but I just wished it would have tasted more "tropical", more fresh and - well - coconutty (yes, I am making this word up and you can't stop me!). The lemon vanilla on the other hand was the ideal treat for a warm spring-but-almost-summer day: It was light and had just the right amount of sweetness, with the lemon and vanilla notes blending together nicely.

The lady in the shop was very friendly and let me try as many of the different flavors as I wanted. She said that their coconut rice pudding was the bestseller (which makes sense considering the magazine recommendation), but the girl I stayed with also spoke highly of their cinnamon raisin. Overall, I guess you cannot go wrong with rice pudding. 

For those who really don't like it (shame on you!), Loving Cup also sells slow-churned frozen yoghurt with what seems like hundreds of toppings to choose from, as well as Blue Bottle coffee, which has been called the "Ferrari of coffee" by CNN. The Blue Bottle Coffee Company is a small, but slowly expanding, California-based coffee roaster and retailer. They also opened an outlet in New York's Rockefeller Center a short time ago, which gives me hope that they will be looking for a location in DC sometime soon.

But enough about coffee. Loving Cup has a charming interior, friendly staff, good desserts, and it is the only place I ever found that specializes in rice pudding. If your next trip takes you to San Francisco, this place is a nice option for a post-lunch sweet treat. You can walk off some of the calories as you head to the wharf!

Brownie Points for the coconut rice pudding: 1 out of 3
Brownie Points for the lemon vanilla rice pudding: 2 out of 3 

Loving Cup on Urbanspoon

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