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Friday, February 26, 2010

SFoodie's 92: John Campbell's Scones from Lovejoy's Tea Room

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Tarted up with Barbara Cartland-size panache. - C. ALBURGER
As a daily windup to the Weekly's Best of S.F. 2010 on May 19, we've teased out 92 of our favorite local dishes that taste like here. All the tasty details after the jump.

Number 57: John Campbell's Scones from Lovejoy's Tea Room

Co-owner Muna Nash won't let a Lovejoy's customer eat an unwarmed scone. Nor does she recommend consuming one without Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry preserves, and a personal pot of dark cream tea. Nash imports the cream from Britain; the curd is made in-house from a proprietary recipe, and the jam is the result of an intensive search through 20-plus brands to find one that closely replicated her grandmother's. In the end, she landed on Smucker's.

Even without all the scone-y bells and whistles ― including the endearingly odd English country teahouse décor ― a scone from Lovejoy's is unlike any other in San Francisco. Made from a traditional Irish recipe by traditional Irish baker John Campbell of John Campbell's Irish Bakery on Geary, Lovejoy's roundish, biscuit-like revelation begs to be bisected horizontally into two moist, steaming halves. Unlike the triangular dry creations at Peet's or Starbucks, this Irish beauty is surprisingly light and cakey. A wash of buttermilk gives the exterior a princely golden sheen; the raisins that stud the dough provide bursts of extra sweetness. And then there's an extra touch of lore: those who patronized Lovejoy's in the early '90s (when it was an antique shop that served scones) became so interested in the treats the owners turned the shop into a tea room. Today, a two-scone plate runs $6.95, including condiments and captivating kitsch.

Lovejoy's Tea Room 1351 Church (at Clipper), 648-5895; open Weds.-Sun, closed Mon.-Tues.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 92: Cracked Half Dungeness from Swan Oyster Depot

No. 91: Pastrami Sandwich from Orson

No. 90: Coconut Bun from Out the Door on Bush

No. 89: Brown Sugar-Black Pepper Biscuits from Little Skillet

No. 87: Indian Pizza from Zante

No. 86: Tamales from All-Star

No. 85: Chilaquiles from Nopalito

No. 84: Poc Chuc from Poc-Chuc

No. 83: Chocolate Beignet from Arlequin Cafe

No. 82: Scallop Crêpe from Ti Couz

No. 81: Gin and Tonic from Pizzaiolo/Boot and Shoe Service

No. 80: Quesadilla from Rico Pan

No. 79: Turkey Kati Rolls from Kasa

No. 78: Emperor's Pancake from Suppenküche

No. 77: Lasagna from Zuppa

No. 76: Chicharrones from 4505 Meats

No. 75: Langka Ice Cream from Mitchell's

No. 74: Bacon Potato Chips from Who's Your Daddy

No. 73: Lamb Dumplings from Kingdom of Dumpling

No. 72: Chile-Braised Carnitas Sandwich from Bento 415

No. 71: Chili from Mission Burger

No. 70: Croissants from La Farine

No. 69: Xiu Mai Banh Mi from Saigon Sandwich

No. 68: Creme Brulee from Sweet.

No. 67: Limon Cebiche from Limon

No. 66: Chicken and Waffles from Brown Sugar Kitchen

No. 65: Brioche Bread Pudding from Tartine Bakery

No. 64: Turkish Salad from Old Jerusalem

No. 63: Ribs from Bruno's

No. 62: Prupisceddu in Umidu (Stewed Octopus) from La Ciccia

No. 61: Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky from Marin Sun Farms

No. 60: Pozole from Chilango

No. 59: Lobster Roll from Sam's ChowderMobile

No. 58: Dry-Fried Chicken Wings from San Tung

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Carolyn Alburger

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