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In need of a place to meet in the neighborhood, a couple friends and I picked Ballast Coffee to try. It's a modern cafe with some outdoor seating. Ballast roasts its own beans and has a special bean called Barako, meaning "wild boar". It is bigger in size, darker and has more caffeine. My first taste of Barako brewed as a cappuccino was too rustic and strong. I ordered it as a latte to dilute the robust intensity with more milk, but it was still not to my taste. I favored the capp that one friend had made with Ethiopian beans more.
Ballast offers gluten-free, mochi-based pastries from Third Culture. I didn't care for the heavy and dense muffin styles. The donuts with less thickness were more appealing, and the fruit glazes were pretty delicious.
329B W Portal Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127
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