In fact, I haven't found a place in San Francisco that compares...and San Francisco certainly has plenty of excellent coffee houses (and not just the numerous Starbucks on every corner) and bakeries.
Urartu is tucked away on Maryland, a quiet side street in next to Brand, Boulevard, one of Glendale's main drags, so it's not the first place people think to go for their morning coffee. I discovered it on one of my many morning walks with my dog and was immediately charmed by the proprietor, Urik, and the cute (and too young for me) surfer/barrista (can't remember his name!) that worked the early shift and made the best cappuccino I'd ever had. The chocolate croissants, baked on the premises, are small and perfect,. Fflaky and buttery croissant pastry with a dark, semi-sweet chocolate melted throughout. Not like some where you get a small rabbit turd of chocolate hidden amidst a barren stretch of dry bread.
My walking buddy, Mishka, and I became regulars; we didn't have to order unless we wanted something other than our usual cappuccinos. If we were short money, we could pay them the next day. They always asked how we were doing and if a few days went by without a visit, our absence was always commented on. And, like all my favorite establishments, they were very dog friendly. I never had to ask for water for my dog - it was always brought out, along with two large glasses of ice-water for me and MIshka.
You can sit outside at one of three small tables or inside, where there's a selection of couches, tables and comfy chairs. Internet service is available as well.
I lived in Glendale for 12 years and never got tired of a trip to Brand Books. The selection is ecclectic and extensive, it's organized by subject and then alphabetized by the author's last name for quick and easy searches (and it's amazing how many used bookstores don't bother with that), the staff helpful and knowledgeable, each with their own areas of expertise. They're also dog friendly; I used to take my medium sized rottweiler/aussie shepard mix inside while I browsed.
Prices are always reasonable at the Brand - most are half off the cover price and they have a very reasonable 'hold' policy if you need it. You can sell books for either cash or trade - trade is always a better bargain, not usually an issue for bibliophiles.
The only genre that the Brand doesn't really stock is Chicklit, so if you're looking for a light-hearted romp about a 20 or 30-something gal searching for love and the right pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, go down the street to Borders.
Or, if you're like me and don't really like that bitter aftertaste characteristic of Guinness, a Black and Tan is the way to go.
I love this pub - it's the first one I went to after moving up the Bay Area two months ago. The locals (mainly Irishmen the two times I've been in) are friendly, the service is good, and there are enough dartboards to accommodate at least five games simultaneously. Watch out for the occasional tipsy patron dancing in front your game, though. The background music -- and the customers -- can be very lively.
There isn't a bar menu (although you can have your fill of chips, free of charge), the only real drawback to the Old Rogue. So either eat before you come or be prepared to go the little eatery next door and order food to go. You can bring it back to the bar and have it with your pint.
On one hand, the guys that work here are very nice. If you want to know about where to surf, for instance, they're great. And I'm sure it's a nice gym. When it comes to tanning, however, this is NOT the place to go. Answers to questions such as 'how often do you change the tanning bed bulbs?' (and that does make a difference) were 'Um, I don't know.' T
The bed itself was not particularly clean - there were smears on the underside of the top. No CD or tape player for music and no towels, just a roll of paper towels and disinfectant spray so each user could clean the bed when they were finished. A posted notice made it clear that this was expected.
Now I realize that tanning is not Golden Gate Fitness's primary business. But if they're going to charge 10 bucks per session (the most I've ever paid at premium salons is $8.00), at the very least they shouldn't make the patrons clean their own beds.
A retro career girl silhouette, briefcase in one hand as she dashes off to her job - it caught my eye as I walked past one lunch hour. I'm the type that will try a wine if I'm intrigued by the label, so I had to check Working Girls Cafe out the next day for an early morning cappuccino and bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese spread (low fat). The cappuccino was a creamy-foamed work of art and the bagel fresh and tasty. The service is always quick and friendly. Try their salads!