Wednesday, March 14, 2012

southport grocery and cafe - chicago, il
3552 n. southport
chicago, il 60657

a stop at southport grocery and cafe was originally part of the plan for last october's one night chicago jaunt, but after a great meal and a bit too much wine at vie the night before, carrie and i overslept and began our day of eating around noon with lunch at naha. not wanting to make the same mistake again, we decided to make a late breakfast at southport our only meal of the day before our 5:30 dinner reservation at schwa.
with the two of us really starting to get the hang of driving in the chicago area, we made the twenty minute drive from hotel felix to the lakeview neighborhood where southport is located, and walked into the small cafe/gourmet grocery around 12:30pm. with the temperature in the low seventies, seating was available both inside and out, and we hesitated for a second before defaulting to our standard of eating inside. with the flux pavilion remix of "cracks" playing overhead, we were seated at a two top near the small open kitchen in the rear of the restaurant. southport offers a full menu of both breakfast and lunch items all day long, and are best known for their cupcakes and bread pudding pancakes.
 to drink, i had my first ever beermosa (beer and orange juice) made with bell's oarsman ale. being a rather tart beer with a low alcohol content, the oarsman ale lent itself well to such a drink, making this a favorable beverage.
with my original plan of having the smaller tasting order of the brisket and gravy as my starter dashed as they were sold out for the day, i opted to comprise my meal of sweets and sweets alone. kicking things off with the highly hyped red velvet cupcake, my excitement level was high and i was not let down in the least. the cupcakes are kept in a refrigerator to ensure optimal freshness and texture, and the red velvet option was an exercise in pure decadence. had the weather been cooler, we would most certainly have ordered a few to go to eat on the car ride home later that evening.
for the main portion of my meal, i knew going into the meal that southport offered single pancakes, and stuck with my plan of ordering one bread pudding pancake as well as one cupcake pancake. beginning with the offering that brought us to southport in the first place, the bread pudding pancake topped with cinnamon sugar butter and served with vanilla anglaise was rich, gooey, and definitely worth the trip! moving on to the cupcake pancake (made with the same batter as their cupcakes) with vanilla sugar butter and wisconsin maple syrup, all i can say is it was good but paled in comparison to the bread pudding.
carrie definitely has a penchant for savory breakfasts, and as such stayed away from sweets all together at southport. this typically works out well for me as she is never able to actually finish what she orders, allowing me to get a taste of the sweet as well as the savory. pictured above is the chorizo omelet with arugula, goat cheese, and a side of red mashed potatoes. this too was excellent, with the potatoes being unusually good.

fully satisfied, the two of us paid at the counter per southport's standard procedure, and hit the streets with roughly four hours to kill before our insanely anticipated diner at schwa. southport has been on my radar for a great while now based solely on their bread pudding pancakes, and while the pancakes were worthy of the hype, everything else was damn good as well. if a breakfast place this good existed in st. louis i would be there on a monthly basis.
Southport Grocery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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