Karl Shouler

Passero's Coffee Is Some Good Lava

Almost two months ago, ever since I realized I could get my cappuccinos in decaf form, I’ve been on an IV drip of them. So when I find a consistently tasty one, at a heck of a price, handed to me most often in under 90 seconds, my attention is consumed.

Passero’s, located in the Suburban Station concourse, does this for me. Now, because of this greatness, often times, their line looks long (maybe 10 people, or so) — I promise you though, your eyes are playing mean tricks on you because that line empties in minutes, at the most. The people working here have got some incredible system down for sure, asking up to six, seven, eight people in line what they’d like to order before they hit the register. Granted, most orders are coffee they have brewed and ready to go. Every few customers though, you get a black swan like me, asking for an espresso based drink. Most places allow this to be a wrench in their flow, but somehow, they get me that capp day after day in record time at $2.95. For comparison, Starbucks is a bit over $3.00 (I think), and Milkboy is a whopping $4.05. And you can expect to wait anywhere up to 10 minutes at these places — not quite an option when you’re trying to catch Septa at 8am.

Friday, there was a small blip in the radar. I had five minutes until my train, which is plenty of time in Passero minutes, for sure. Got my order in.. paid.. and waited.. with four other people.. waited a bit more.. heard my train over the loud-speaker.. asked the new girl at the reins of the espresso machine about my drink.. she just got my order.. blargh.. she was no doubt the bottleneck in this previously unstoppable coffee making performance.. I told her to cancel it, and I caught my train.

That all said, I spent entirely too much time Friday wondering if I’d have to break up with Passero’s. I was devastated to the core. Seriously, ask my girlfriend. It was sad.

This morning though, I went back, and all the familiar faces were there. I ordered my drink, and for the first time in history, had it in hand before I paid.. brilliant. When I began telling the checkout girl what had happened Friday, she stopped me, as if she had heard it a number of times already, and told me I was taken care of. Phew.

Go to Passero’s.. they know what they’re doing.

FOLLOW-UP: I found a nice article about the history of Passero’s. I never realized I was talking to the owner every morning.. pretty cool stuff.