Itís nice to know there are still coffeehouses that foster a sense of place, that aim to reflect their community. Ocean Coffee Roasters is shaping up to be just that sort of establishment. Sitting kitty-corner from Symphony Hall, with the works of local artists on the walls and tomes by various authors lining a bookshelf for patrons to peruse as they please, the café is a haven for Berklee and Northeastern students ó in fact, itís a bona fide venue, hosting monthly Entertainment Nights to showcase aspiring musicians and poets.
As for the menu, it too goes out of its way to please. Pastries arenít the half of it: the wide-ranging selection of breakfast and lunch items includes scrambled eggs and ham on croissants ($3.15), meatball subs ($4.35), and more than 10 kinds of wraps, including lentil-and-jasmine-rice and curried-chicken-and-veggie ($4.95). But the pastry case is chock full too. It's filled with enormous, cushiony cookies like the Hunka Chunka, with its dark and white chocolate chips, or the sophisticated espresso macaroon ($1.55); Avalanche Brownies, causing a white-out with cheesecake, white chocolate, and marshmallow ($3.50); and a variety of muffins " made from scratch " ($1.50). OCRís approach to coffee itself, meanwhile, is simply generous ó the all-but-vanished bottomless cup is alive and well here ($1.50), as is the brewed-to-order pot ($2.95/small, $5.95 large). And to think your average bored coffee barfly has never even heard the word " refill. "
Ocean Coffee Roasters, located at 334 Mass Ave, in Boston, is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (617) 267-9206.