Friday, August 17, 2012

Southport Grocery and Cafe

In the heart of Lakeview, there is a business called Southport Grocery and Cafe.  While it does have some packaged foods for sale, it is not a grocery in the same way that Dominick's, Jewel Osco, or even Standard Market is a grocery.  What they are known for are there baked goods and their brunch.  It is more a bakery and cafe that serves some dry goods.  As far as their grocery is concerned, I would compare it to Provenance Food and Wine, you can get a pretty nice variety of very good gourmet type foods but you probably wouldn't go grocery shopping there.  Besides the grocery and bakery they have a very nice cafe where I convened brunch with a group of friends.  The space is actually kind of crowded with the kitchen in the back, the bakery and cashier along the left wall (as you are walking in), the grocery items are in the middle, and the cafe seating is on the right wall and outside.  We sat inside which has seating for about 20 (the group I was part of was much smaller than that).  Outside has seating for about 20 as well.  Our brunch started with a some Shareables which are essentially Appetizers for brunch.  We had a Grilled Coffee Cake which was a Cinnamon Walnut Sour Cream Cake which was stuffed with Zingerman's Cream Cheese and topped with powdered sugar.  This was insane!  You would think that this would be heavy, especially for a starter, but it was surpringly light.  The cake was light and moist  with crisp edges and was a little spicy from the cinnamon.  The cream cheese was creamy, as one might expect and provided a perfect complement to the coffee cake.  We also had what they called a Savory Muffin with Egg which was an herb muffin with cheese that is stuffed with a hard boiled egg.  It reminded me of what I might imagine a vegetarian Scotch Egg might be like.  A Scotch Egg is a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried.  Other than the fact that it was missing the sausage and it was shaped like a muffin instead of an egg, this was essentially the same thing and it was pretty good. 

Normally, when I go out for brunch, I will go savory for my main course.  As we were at a place that is famed for it's baked goods, I figured I would switch things up and check outside the sweet side of things.
I got Stuffed French Toast which was topped with Fresh Blueberries and Preserved Lemon, and stuffed with more Cream Cheese.  This was also very good.  Blueberries are among my favorite fruits and as you can see it had a lot of blueberries.  It was crisp, moist, and chewy, the fruit provided sweetness and tartness, and the cream cheese provided a texture contrast and complemented the tartness of the fruit.

After the very good coffee cake and French toast, I had to have a cupcake which is one of the things that Southport Grocery and Cafe is most well known for.  I got a Red Velvet Cupcake which had Sour Cream Frosting.  While it was simple in appearance, it looked very good in its simplicity and I actually forgot to take a picture of it before I ate it.

I really enjoyed my brunch here.  It was actually kind of difficult to choose what I wanted so I will definitely have to be back.  In addition to breakfast foods, they also have a nice selection of sandwiches.  While the place is a little crowded, the service is very good and the food is excellent.

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