Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hook Me Up: A Bon Port Cafe -- CLOSED


UPDATE (01/02/2010): This cafe is closed and a wine bar is open in its place.

It's my last day on vacation before heading back to the real world tomorrow, so I decided to head into the city for some wi-fi cafe surfing. So here I am all the way at the Castro at the A Bon Port Cafe.

The cafe, right at the heart of the Castro across from Cliff's Variety, bills itself as a French-Belgian Cafe, so that means it has crepes for sale! Yum.

When I got here a few minutes ago, it was totally empty and I almost thought it was closed for the holidays. It was a bit dark and only one other person was in here. It almost looked like a pub at some oceanside joint.

Even the pastry counter looked a bit quiet. Looks like they didn't get their replenish orders since the holidays.

But the barista (I think?) behind the counter is very nice and friendly. The only problem is the cafe's wireless connection, while free, is a bit wonky for Mac users, according to the barista. It actually took awhile for my Web browser to recognize the cafe's connection. But after a few minutes, I was online surfing. (Of course, a couple of other people came in after me and they were Mac users too. So when they couldn't connect just now, they asked the nice guy to reboot the cafe's router, which he gladly did. Since then we've all been unable to connect using the free wi-fi. So I'm actually doing this post by using a stolen free-riding wi-fi from someone in the neighborhood. (So much thanks to whoever calls himself "Iliketogetmywheelsturned." Hmmm, maybe a mechanic nearby.)

The A Bon Port actually has this nice long wooden table where I'm sitting right now. At the end of the table is a whole bunch of outlets if you need to plug in your computer. There's also a nice lounge area where most of the people are seated now.

I ordered a cup of Peppermint Leaf tea and this lemon crepe (which is called the "Picpus") for $4.25. It was all right, nothing spectacular. The lemon flavor was a bit bland, so I mostly got any taste from the powdered sugar sprinkled on top. They offer 9 types of sweet crepes and 10 types of savory crepes. (The savory crepes are most expensive at $7.50 each. They also have sandwiches, salads, and Belgian waffles.)

Once the cafe filled up, it seemed more like a happening place. But the wi-fi is a bit wonky, like I said. Still, it is one of the few cafe-like places in this neighborhood where you can spread out your laptop and surf away.

A Bon Port Cafe
Location: 476 Castro St. near 18th St., San Francisco
PH: 415.558.0893
Food: Crepes, sandwiches, baked goods and Belgian Waffles
Coffee: Moschetti organic fair trade coffee
Tea: Honest brand
Wi-Fi: Yes, free (no password needed but a bit wonky for Mac users)
Outlets: Yes, five available near lamp in the back of the long table.
Restrooms: Yes
Seating: 12-seat long table in the back, and three small tables in the front with additional sofa with coffee table.
Cleanliness: Average.

2 comments:

Eric said...

Nice, you're continuing the series. Thanks for including details about the outlets.

Have you seen this new Awaken Cafe that's opening up soon near the Trib tower? (link) Not sure if they're going to have wifi or not (seems like they should), but it looks like a pretty awesome addition to the neighborhood. Their blog has great pictures of the work they're doing on the entryway mosaics.

Chef Ben said...

Thanks for the tip on Awaken. Looks cool, I'll check it out if it ever gets up and running. It'll be nice to have a reason to go to downtown Oakland other than Chinatown errands.