The subhead on Rosewood Coffee’s menu reads: “Uncommonly good coffee & tea. Unlikely Venue.” It’s no wonder — hospital cafeterias are not exactly known for their culinary expertise. In most cases, if you find Starbucks brew that’s been sitting around all day and a fresh banana, that’s pretty much a win. As such, imagine my surprise when I found this wonderful coffee & lunch stand located within Penn Medicine Valley Forge.
This place is incredible. The fact that it is located within a medical facility is absurd, but I honestly believe it would be just as good if it was a standalone shop in Wayne or West Chester, or even Philly. It is such a hidden gem right now; I’m not sure I should even be telling you about it!
Firstly, there’s the coffee; they pour one of the best cups for miles, mostly due to intense focus on both technique and ingredients. Using freshly-roasted, seasonal and traceable (meaning they know exactly where they are from) beans, the skilled baristas create amazing espresso drinks, pour-over and french press coffees. The espresso-based drinks are especially good. Using Counter Culture’s Espresso Rustico (on most occasions), they are able to extract maximum flavor and brilliant crema from a new La Marzocco espresso machine. A proper shot of 20-21 grams is expertly pulled, then topped with micro-foam textured milk (if desired).
On the food side, the menu is committed to high-quality, local and healthy ingredients. Many of the foods (including sweets) feature whole grains, organic sugars and other heart-friendly options (the one thing that actually makes sense in a medical facility!). They offer mostly light bites, such as breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, sandwiches and salads. I love their chocolate chip cookies (pictured), which are actually more like little cakes, made with whole wheat flour and organic chocolate – they are light, airy and delicious. For lunch, there’s a good variety of sandwiches and salads. We tried the chicken pesto wrap, made with provolone cheese, ripe tomatoes and greens with fresh pesto, on a whole wheat wrap. It was simple, but quite tasty and perfect fuel for a productive afternoon.
A few other menu highlights are:
- Whole leaf teas
- Turkey Sausage & Egg with sun-dried tomatoes & artisan greens on a multi-grain English muffin
- Granola w/ Greek Yogurt
- Ham & Brie Panini with greens, tomatoes and dijon on multi-grain harvest bread
- Field of Greens Salad – mixed greens with red apples, dried cranberries, candied pecans, goat cheese in a vidalia onion vinaigrette
The staff is super-friendly, and has always asked me sincerely how I enjoyed what I ordered. They are extremely knowledgeable about coffee in particular, and interested in discussing it at length. In addition, they always seem to remember me, even though my visits have been sporadic.
One thing worth noting is that service is not particularly quick. This is not a criticism; everything is made to order and with care, which shows in the final product. Those in a hurry, however, might consider calling ahead.
In sum, customers of Penn Valley Forge should not pass this place by. Heck, even if you regularly work in or travel through the Chesterbrook/252/202 area, this place should be a regular stop, doctor’s visit or not!