After a long construction wait, Cafe Trieste (yes an offshoot of the SF original) has finally opened on the corner of Dwight and San Pablo in Berkeley. This is great news for the neighborhood, giving folks an alternative to West Side Cafe and Bakery, which had all the negatives of a monopoly.
The space is airy and cheery, and has been crowded from Day 1. They're trying to do a lot in there (and it feels like it), with breakfast, lunch and "supper" menus, beer and wine, coffee store and full-service gelato.
Haven't tried any of the food offerings (pizza, pannini and salads, as well as breakfast items), but have enjoyed a few very well-made, though slightly expensive lattes.
The service leaves a lot to be desired. The baristas don't seem to know which way is up, yet. My colleague ordered an iced mocha, and was rudely handed a plastic cup with cocoa powder at the bottom, milk, ice and espresso dumped on top, and a spoon to stir it all together herself!!! I won't be ordering any of those, but there really are slim pickin's in that nabe, so I'll stick to the superb lattes.
Also, I don't frequent the original, but is there really a surcharge for decaf? Never seen this happen before.
Any reports on the food?