By Ozzie C. Davis
My name is Ozzie C. Davis. Well, no – it’s not. It’s actually my pen name. I’ve always wanted a pen name, so I’ve conceived Ozzie. Ozzie probably exists due to anonymity in today’s age of the internet. And I am after all, the eldest of millennials ruling over this modern digital kingdom. Therefore, it is simply culturally appropriate that Mr. O.C. Davis exists.
My family (there are a couple other C. Davis’) and I have lived in Oak Forest since 2012. I dub the year 2012, the “Year of the Estate Sale”. I have never seen anything like it before or since. It was a good time to purchase used furniture and a moderate to bad time to be an original home owner.
But that’s enough about me. You don’t read this revered, only local newspaper covering the Heights and Northwest Houston area, to hear about my history. Let’s get down to the brass tacks as they say wherever they say it. The goal of this project is to stimulate, entertain and inform on the topics that I care about: coffee.
Are you an “office from home” employee, stay at home mother, stay at home father, night shift nurse, retiree, qualified oilfield worker seeking new opportunities, or University of Houston commuter student? Or perhaps you are just a regular Joe and are jones’ing for coffee and are around The Leader circulation area. Look no further to help you make the best decision when looking to patronize a coffee shop. If you want to be like me, Ozzie C. Davis, go to a local spot. If you are wondering where to go, fear not. I have visited and summarized all of them here.
North of 610
Grindhouse – 5403 N. Shepherd Dr. Located on Shepherd near Pinemont
Serving Katz’s coffee.
O.C.D’s recommendation: Cinnamon Coffee and Glazed Donut.
The breakdown: A flash to the good ole days of coffee shops. You remember, the one that grandpa would take you to after your parents told him not to feed you donuts as a child. They also bake donuts and have a full menu of delectables. This location has a small sitting area and provides Wi-Fi. If you plan to work or study in there, bring your headphones so you can ignore the conversations you can’t help but to overhear while you’re in there. Also, to our nefarious readers, we advise selecting an alternate local favorite as this one is HPD’s.
SlowPokes – 1203 W. 34th St. Suite D near on Alba and 34th.
Serving Geva Coffee Beans.
O.C.D’s recommendation: Plain Latte and Couch Potato Cookie.
The breakdown: Have your kids ever bothered you to ride a throwback coin operated copper turtle where they can gently rock back and forth for about a minute? Well, bring your grandfather’s coin purse and children and head over the GOOF’s newest coffee spot. The décor of the establishment is hard to describe with its fancy picnic benches and chicken wirecubby hole separated booths. My favorite decoration piece is the neon bar sign greeting patrons stating, “I’m a slowpoke.” Lastly, I would be doing a disservice not mentioning the kid friendly sideyard where the whole family can go to distract the children while parents drink their fill of local coffee, wines and beers. Come all ye sloths, slugs and turtles.
South of 610, North of I-10
Boomtown – 242 W. 19th St.in “downtown” Heights.
Serving Boomtown Roasters coffee
O.C.D’s recommendation: The Johnny Cash.
The breakdown: Get your favorite pair of skinny jeans and beanie and get ready to wait in line. These guys do make some great coffee and there is a line for a reason. One feature that some will enjoy and others will hate is the cigar smoke that seeps through the walls. My personal opinion is that it is a wonderful aromatic experience to have coffee and cigar smells combined. It is a strong to very strong social atmosphere for those who are 20-38 years old. They also provide WiFi with a password that is openly anti Decaf coffee.
A 2nd Cup – 1111 E. 11th St. near Yale and 11th in Heights
O.C.D’s recommendation: Flat White.
The breakdown: A coffee shop with the purpose to raise awareness about human and sex trafficking in our city. How can anyone hate on that? The seating area has plenty of space and is very comfortable. It has a good social atmosphere and is my personal favorite to work from. The breakfast tacos are creative and highly recommended. A small but underrated feature of this place is a multi-toilet restroom. You know you hate bathroom lines too. The men’s even has a shower that you could use. I dare you.
Antidote – 729 Studewood St. near Studewood and 8th.
Serving Big Bend Roasters Coffee Beans
O.C.D’s recommendation: The Antidote.
The Breakdown: “Antidote? Have I been poisoned?” You may ask yourself. The answer is probably. Better safe than sorry and head on over to this cozy shop. This location was especially designed for those who love temporary blindness caused by early morning sunbeams directly into their corneas. Compliments of the giant east facing windows. They serve great coffee and have a limited amount of pastries that go quickly. Parking can be a bit tricky and leaving your vehicle on the middle of Yale is frowned upon. So I may recommend that you carpool, ride your bicycle or dust off the roller blades for transportation during peak hours.
EQ Heights – 1030 Heights Blvd. Located on Heights Blvd. and 11th.
Serving Java Pura Coffee Beans
O.C.D’s recommendation: Large Pour over with your choice of beans.
The Breakdown: Come for the ceiling fans, but stay for the coffee. Seriously, check out the fans next time you go. This place has a real “grandma’s house” feel but has your rebellious cousin from Austin’s art work on the walls. The one thing missing outside of someone yelling at you to use the coasters is music. So the seating areas have the unique ability to be very loud or like your middle school’s detention hall lunch room. The best feature of this venue is the giant porch seating area which has ample seating and is perfect December through March. Lastly, leave your trucks and dualies in the barn if you plan to park in their parking lot. Either that or run the risk of seeing how many points your turn will be and if you are able to avoid the trash cans as you try to turn around.
Morningstar – 4721 N Main St m, Houston, TX 77009 near Main and I-45.
Serving Greenway Coffee Beans
O.C.D’s recommendation: Espresso and Tiramisu Donut.
The breakdown: Get to know your medieval bludgeoning weapons folks, their logo is a “Morningstar”, not a mace. For those who are confused, their logo is a spiked ball attached to a chain and handle. What that has to do with coffee is beyond me, but what I do know is that their coffee is great and their donuts are even better. They are tucked back in a shopping center and can be difficult to find. There are a couple of gyms next door so you can tell your significant other you are going to work out and secretly sneak on over to binge on gourmet donuts and full fat lattes. The biggest surprise of my initial trip to Morningstar was in the restroom which probably sounds over the top. Rest assured in what I am about to impart; it isn’t going to where you may think. They have powdered hand soap, what will hipsters surprise me with next?
South of I-10 (Washington)
Catalina Coffee – 2201 Washington Ave, near Sawyer.
Serving Amaya Roasters coffee
O.C.D’s recommendation: Black Coffee.
The breakdown: It doesn’t get any better than Amaya Coffee beans. Trust me, I accidentally bought some for $17 a bag and didn’t regret it. The ambience is loud and it feels like this is a place for serious coffee people and serious people only. No dilly dallying here, last I went, they don’t even have Wi-Fi. So you may even have to occupy your mind with conversation or bring your recent copy of The Leader. The seating has a tendency to be crowded and you will probably sit at a table with strangers. Eavesdropping will happen so make sure to boost your boring stories with fabrications and excessive details.