By Valerie Demicheva
Chasing Lions Café seems to have teleported right out of the Mission District, with Four Barrel Coffee and re-purposed vintage finishings. The high walls are adorned with owner Keba Konte’s re-purposed ironing boards and headboards featuring fine stencil drawings of skaters that hang like trophies.
Students prepare food in the open, red kitchen and a barista awaits your order at a chrome Marzocco espresso machine.
An unexpected star of the menu is the soup of the day, created in weekly batches by Cynthia Toliver, former owner of Welcome Mat Restaurant. That week’s potato and purple broccoli soup was made from fresh produce from the Alemany Farmer’s Market. Soup made from yams, purple and green broccoli, sage ghee and too many spices to name are served in cozy bowls for $4.75 or espresso cups for $2.75.
The café offers other affordable simple to-go options around $5, comparable to those at City Café on Ocean campus. Vine-fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and roma tomatoes make an impressive but light caprese sandwich that is as fragrant as an Italian cucina, something unseen elsewhere on campus.
The menu also offers a refreshing shredded beet salad with goat cheese and crispy almonds, but the cherry tomatoes seemed out of place. It’s a healthy option that doesn’t require dressing.
Fresh $3 pastries are expensive, but more inviting than similar goods up the hill at City Café that go for around $2.
And Four Barrel, a Mission District staple, supplies espresso beans that accompany adorable heart designs on lattés and mochas—$4 for a drinkable artwork. These are certainly drinks for those who love the strong and bitter aftertaste, but you’ll need gum or a toothbrush after this meal.
Your classmates might not want to talk to you after stopping at Chasing Lions, but your satisfied tummy full of healthy goodies, and your lightly scathed wallet, will thank you.
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