Thursday, October 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Coffee Break: Elcy's Cafe

Bonnie Zuckerman, a barista, left, and Amy Quigley, manager, outside Elcy´s Cafe in Glenside. (Dana DiFilippo / DAILY NEWS STAFF)
Bonnie Zuckerman, a barista, left, and Amy Quigley, manager, outside Elcy's Cafe in Glenside. (Dana DiFilippo / DAILY NEWS STAFF)

Where: SEPTA's Glenside train station, 1 Glenside Ave.

Ambience: Commuters, college hipsters (Arcadia University is nearby) and laptop-toting loners converge in a century-old train station for gourmet grub and coffee that is mostly organic. Local artists supply artwork that rotates monthly in what used to be the train station's waiting area. Customers can sip lattes outside on a sunny patio polka-dotted with pretty planters if they don't mind the rumble of passing trains.

Backstory: Elcy's takes its name from the initials of its former owner, Lisa Creighton Rittler, who opened her cafe in 2000 and sold it to Al and Amy Chapman, of Wyncote, in 2011. The Chapmans, who have two daughters ages 8 and 10, worked in business, banking and publishing (Al) and pharmaceutical sales (Amy). But Amy, 46, is an avid foodie, and Al, 51, has loved coffee so long he roasts his own beans. (His company, Valley Green Coffee, is a local wholesaler; Rittler was a customer.) So, buying Elcy's seemed a no-brainer. "That combination of really good food and really cool atmosphere with freshly roasted coffee is unique to our area," Al Chapman said.

Beans: The Chapmans get their beans from Royal Coffee New York, a specialty green-coffee importer. They offer a few single-origin brews as well as five blends named after Fairmount Park, one of their favorite hangouts - Devil's Pool, Forbidden Drive, Kitchens Lane, Schuylkill Espresso and Wissahickon. (Their coffee-roasting business also has a park-inspired name.) "We're trying to educate the community on the value and importance not just of organic foods but organic coffee," Al Chapman said. "Almost all coffee is imported from countries that use tons of fertilizer and herbicides and pesticides. Those chemicals are just sitting on the bean, so then you're consuming it every day. About 90 percent of what we use is organic. We are concerned about what people consume."

Beyond beans: Full menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and bakery items (scones made at Elcy's; doughnuts from Yum Yum Bake Shops, in Doylestown; pastries from Le Bus Bakery). The Mediterranean Hummus sandwich was great, with roasted vegetables and feta on toasted sourdough. Elcy's also makes smoothies in tantalizing flavors, such as Banana Split, Reese's Pieces and Orangesicle.

Hours: 5:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Prices: Drink prices range from $1.98 (small coffee) to $4.75 (large mocha latte). Sandwiches and salads are $5 to $9. Smoothies are $4.50.

Social stuff: elcys.com; Twitter: @Elcyscafe; 215- 884-5600.

 


Every other Thursday, the Daily News reviews a local brew shop for "Coffee Break." Staff writer Dana DiFilippo hit the road hunting for caffeine this week.

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