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Restaurants & Bars

Waffle Truck, Larkin Express, Hot Cocoa at Socha

pane | Jan 16, 200801:02 PM     3

Or: How many courses is lunch?

Today I intended to meet a friend for lunch at Larkin Express deli, but I arrived a bit early, so I took a turn around the Civic Center farmer's market. There I beheld the much-discussed waffle truck. I thought I read someone (Dave MP?) remarking that they sometimes ran out of waffles; I was there at almost noon and they still had dough.

Dough, you ask?

Dough, I repeat. The two friendly guys who were running the place told me that they import high-quality dough from Belgium. They let me climb aboard the truck and showed me a tray of the stuff, each individual ball of dough tucked into its plastic shell.

"I thought waffles were made from batter?" I asked.

"Batter is bullshit," opined one of the guys, who told me Americans basically cooked pancake batter in a waffle iron, while a Belgian waffle was an entirely different animal. The taste test: delicious! This was different than any waffle I've tried: crisp on the outside, chewy and intensely flavorful on the inside. A bit sour, a bit sweet, I saw how this would combine well with a number of savory and dessert-like toppings. At only $3, it was a great handheld snack.

Later I met up with my friend at Larkin Express. We had mohinga (fish chowder), fish cakes and the ginger salad. My favorite was the crunchy, super gingery ginger salad. My friend didn't think he'd like the salad when he first tried it, but the flavor grew on him. He loved the mohinga, which was good as usual, but the fish cakes were a bit too gelatinous for his taste. They were a bit chewier than the last time I tried them here a few months ago.

Later (now, actually), I camped out at Socha, a coffee shop up on Mission to work. I wasn't interested in their tea selection so instead I ordered a hot chocolate, which was great. They use Ghirardelli chocolate, which I don't generally like, but it worked for a hot chocolate. The generous dollop of fresh whipped cream on top didn't hurt either, and was a nice touch for a $2 drink.

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Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Socha Cafe
3235 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Civic Center Market
1292 Market St, San Francisco, CA

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