What do you get when you combine the minds of ex Blue Bottle corporate employees, fine dining professionals, and an eye-catching bright red food truck? One heck of a coffee and food spot that provides an experience unlike the majority of other food trucks we’ve been to. You get SPRO Coffee Lab.
When you think of food trucks, typically you expect the food to be casually thrown onto a disposable plate, possibly with unintended items overlapping and mixing together in a messy pile. Plating and attention to detail never seem to be a priority in these kinds of establishments. But SPRO Coffee Lab, located at 601 Mission Bay Blvd North in San Francisco, CA, is flipping that belief on its head, and they’re carving a niche for themselves between a sit down restaurant and an on-the-go food truck. We love everything about it.
The backbone and foundation of SPRO Coffee Lab is their coffee. They have a menu full of delicious, unique coffee creations including the three we tried below. Just take a minute and look at those lattes. They’re colorful, distinct, the art is on point, and most importantly, they taste fantastic. The gray one in front is a secret menu item (shhh… jk) called the Black Swan Latte. It’s made with activated charcoal and has some sweetness to it, which was awesome with some of the saltier dishes we had. Definitely ask about it! The second latte we tried was the “v” for velvet. It’s a red velvet latte that’s super smooth and less sweet than the Black Swan, so if that’s more your thing, we highly recommend it! Not to mention both lattes are highly Instagram-worthy!
The next drink we had the chance to try was the Cold Fashioned. If you’ve ever had an old fashioned, you’ll understand where the name comes from, but don’t fret! It’s alcohol free and a super unique blend of flavors for a coffee drink. It consists of cold brew, orange bitters, gum syrup, flamed orange twist, and luxardo cherry all on the rocks. Super refreshing plus a caffeine boost? Sign us up!
The drinks were definitely top notch, but SPRO Coffee Lab didn’t stop there. When they started calling us over to grab our food from the counter we were instantly blown away. The plating and presentation was incredible. And we’re not just saying it was incredible “for a food truck” — it was just straight up awesome. Who knew it was possible to make something look so good on a paper plate?! This is where the fine dining experience really seems to come into play, which gives the consumer such a freakin’ cool experience. Casual fine dining? Street fine dining? We never claimed to be good at coining catchy terms, but whatever you want to call it, we’re all about it.
Below is their umami bomb, which is basically avocado toast on steriods. It consists of avocado, black truffle citrus ponzu, furikake, black sesame, togarashi chili & ikura salmon roe on sourdough rye bread. It’s seriously an explosion of flavor in your mouth. The truffle mixed with the spiciness of the chili powder along with the crunchiness of the bread, the softness of the avocado, and the pop of the ikura make each bite exciting from start to finish.
Next up was the southern BEL, which was red velvet liège waffles with a side of SPRO’s homemade cream cheese frosting. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and tasty, this one’s going to be your go-to. We love red velvet anything and this dish totally hit the spot. The frosting especially stood out because it maintained the cream cheese flavor and was not overly sweet. Some red velvet frostings just taste like sugar, but their recipe definitely complemented the waffles perfectly.
We also had the chance to try their croque madame, which was hella bomb. What’s unique about this, you ask? When we’ve had similar dishes at other places, usually the egg is sunny side up on top of the sandwich, but SPRO Coffee Lab said “NOPE” and put it directly in the center. They use the sous vide cooking technique (cooking in a specialized tank of boiling water) in order to get the egg to the right consistency in the middle of all the other goodness around it. The satisfaction of cutting through the middle of the sandwich and having the yolk ooze all over and add to the overall flavor of the dish is something you just have to experience for yourself. This one is definitely happening the next time we visit!
Last, but not least, is another one of their beautifully plated dishes — the cake by the ocean. It consists of a creole crab cake, fresh parsley, and a lemon wedge with a spicy sauce elegantly spread across the plate. Once again, making a paper plate look amazing, they’ve created an awesome little appetizer or small snack to go along with your coffee. It does have a bit of a kick to it, but that’s what brings everything together, and we give it two thumbs way up!
SPRO Coffee Lab showed us that they’re not, at all, like a typical coffee shop. They’re not even the slightest bit afraid to go outside of the box and experiment with flavor combinations, and that’s one of the most exciting things about tasting their drinks and food. It’ll give you a new found appreciation for the flexibility and versatility of coffee that you may not have realized before, and the food and presentation only enhances the overall experience. We hope they continue to push boundaries and never cease to innovate and bring nomtastic creations to our taste buds.
Till next time, Nomsters!