Coffee Break: OCF Coffee House
Where: 2100 Fairmount Ave., Fairmount; 2001 Federal St., Point Breeze; and 1745 South St., Center City.
Hours: Center City & Fairmount: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Point Breeze: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Backstory: OCF Coffee House is a subsidiary of Ori Feibush's OCF Realty. But before you think about lumping it in with large coffee chains, take a seat at the Fairmount location, with its large garage doors opened up to a view unique to any cafe in the city - Eastern State Penitentiary. The location, four times the size of OCF's other spots, opened in January 2013, and it immediately became a meeting place for locals, general manager Lori Zaspel said.
The scene: During the Halloween season, the location gets business from Eastern State's "Terror Behind the Walls" attraction. "It brings it some unique customers," Zaspel said.
But OCF also attracts families and college students cramming for tests. It's simply a quality coffeehouse where you can get a bite to eat and not feel intimidated by the baristas. "We're not trying to be the coolest kids in town," Zaspel said. "We're just trying to be authentic."
The beans: OCF is the only coffeehouse in Philadelphia using beans from Anodyne Roasting Company, out of Milwaukee.
The hardware: Synesso Cyncra espresso machines.
Ambience: On nice days, when OCF's massive windows are open, the former warehouse feels like it's spilling right onto bustling Fairmount Avenue. Inside, it's industrial chic, with exposed ducts, and the ample square footage of distressed woods goes straight up the counter. All three locations have a touch of lime green and a few pieces of simple art on the walls.
Beyond beans: Fairmount has OCF's most ambitious menu, Zaspel said, with a full kitchen preparing organic and locally sourced offerings. Brunch is served all day - everything from bagels to challah French toast and quinoa hot cereal. Lunch, also served all day, is a slew of salads, plus stuff like grilled cheese and tuna or turkey melts. OCF Fairmount also has a smoothie menu. Try one of theirs - like the Spring Garden, made with pineapple, banana, arugula and orange juice - or create your own.
Prices: Drip coffee, $2.08 to $2.55; espresso, $2.25; Nutella mocha, $4.25; matcha latte, $4. Salads are $4.50 for a half plate, $8.50 for a full. The Roast Beef Club is $8 and the most loaded bagel is $6.50. Smoothies are $5 and $5.50.
Every other Thursday, the Daily News checks out a local brew shop because we always need another cuppa joe around here. On the caffeine case this week, staff writer Jason Nark.