Southport Grocery Chicago

Hello Friends!

Another weekend is upon us, and lets be honest- a weekend isn’t truly a weekend without a Sunday Saturday morning brunch. That being said I want to introduce you to this morning’s post: Southport Grocery and Café.  
Southport offers a sit down breakfast and lunch café, a deli style selection of their prepared foods, and a gourmet packaged foods grocery. The grocery’s motto is “Modern, Simple, and Fun Food Experiences”, and just as the motto says, the atmosphere is clean and simple. The cafe is filled with silver metal chairs, cool tones, crisp paper table clothes and chalk board menus. The prices are just right and leave room for extra ordering. The service is pretty standard, and just depends on the waiter. They give you a large glass bottle of water and continually put a fresh one on your table as needed. The grocery cafe is nestled in the middle of a cute family oriented neighborhood with fun shops and quiet local pubs. 
This cozy spot has been a fan favorite for years now, and we make a point to take our guests here when we have visitors in town. As I mentioned last time, my best friend from high school, Lisa, is here this weekend and Kate and I could hardly wait to introduce her to our Southport breakfast.
Unfortunately for us, we are not the only ones that feel so strongly about this local eatery. On weekends, Southport Grocery can almost always guarantee you some sort of wait. I’ve heard everything from 2 hours to 2 seconds. Thankfully we got lucky with the latter of the two extremes. We had impeccable timing because right after we sat down the lines started forming. 
Right off the bat Kate and I knew we were going to order the “solo” bread pudding pancakes for the table. The solo is offered in a number of different dishes and is just a tasting of, in this case, one pancake and is a perfect size to sample a dish. Kate and I tend to stick to our favorite dishes so it didn’t take us long to scan the menu and make a decision. Kate chose the newly renamed, Off The Shelf omelet. I chose the Baked Almond Oatmeal.  Lisa was keeping up with our quick decisions because although she was eyeing the bruschetta, the special was unusual enough that it was the ultimate winner. The special was a “Ramp omelet” with asparagus and brie cheese.
First up is the “solo” Bread Pudding Pancake:

Bread pudding pancakes ∙ 9/ solo ∙ 4: pancakes made with gooey bread pudding topped with cinnamon-sugar butter* & ration of vanilla custard sauce”

This pancake is usually a sure fire success. I have never once experienced anything less than nirvana when I taste this dish. Today was the first time I have experienced less than perfect gooey goodness. The pancake was overcooked, so the texture was way more solid than it should have been, and the outer layer was chewy and hard to cut with just a fork. You can kind of see what I mean in the picture below where the edges are sort of crispy. The flavors were still really good, but I am bias to the normal cake so I thought everything was just less than par. However, I still highly recommend this dish- Lisa said she would have never known it was not perfect. 
Solo Bread Pudding Pancake

Up next is the Off The Shelf omelet:
off the shelf ∙ 9: fresh spinach and cream cheese blended with River Valley spinach artichoke dip. (All omelets come with side of red potato mash)”

Egg white Off The Shelf omelet.
This dish is a favorite among my room mates and there is usually a minimum of 2 orders at the table whenever we go. We have found over the years that the cream cheese spinach dip blend can be very rich, so in order to tone it down, the omelet is best ordered as an egg white omelet. The cream cheese is savory and adds a vibrant flavor to the eggs. The red potato mash is a creamy red bliss potato and is really why Kate orders this dish.
Unfortunately, Kate was not blown away by her food today. She said that the omelet was missing some sort of significant flavor. The only way she could describe it was that she should have ordered it with regular eggs to add back the flavor we have been scaling down on for so long. We are not ones to salt and pepper our food, but today Kate added pepper. As for the potatoes, they were not as creamy as they typically are. 

The dish was overall good and anyone would enjoy it. It just didn’t blow us away like it always does. I truly think that we happened to get a little unlucky today, and not that the food is on the decline.

Lisa got the Ramp omelet with thinly sliced asparagus, ramp onion, spinach, and brie cheese. This item was the special so it was not listed online. The price was about the same as the Off The Shelf omelet.

Special: Ramp Omelet
I think I was really craving a savory meal this morning and was really into Lisa’s breakfast choice, I couldn’t get enough of it. The brie was perfectly melted inside of the eggs, providing a well covered blanket of thick creamy cheese to help bind the various ingredients. The asparagus and ramp onion were PERFECT complements. The ramp is a perfect marriage of scallion and garlic flavors and mixed with the woodiness of the asparagus created a very pallet pleasing taste. Kate thought it was a little salty and I can see that given the oniony garlic taste. 
I highly recommend this omelet if you can make it there before the special is gone!
Finally we have the Baked Almond Oatmeal:
“baked almond oatmeal ∙ 8.5

steel cut & rolled oats with a side of fruit & cream”

Baked Almond Oatmeal

Oatmeal side of fruit and vanilla cream
The oatmeal is served pipping hot with a powdered sugar dusting on top. The bake is spongey yet thick with perfect vanilla flavors that really supplement the hearty oat flavors. To add to the texture of the dish you can choose to pour the vanilla cream, served alongside every time, on top of the bake. I always add the cream to this because I really enjoy adding a cool liquid to my hot oats to create a contrast of texture, flavor, and temperature. The side of fruit is delicious. It typically consists of fruit that is always readily available (not saying it’s in season… just accessible) such as: macintosh apple, citrus, honeydew, cantaloupe, red grape, and pineapple. The fruit is “marinated”and has a pleasant delicate cinnamon flavor. If you order the fruit as an additional side dish they will give you an entire plate full. It’s great. 

This dish is my all time favorite here at Southport. After every meal my friends always claim they wish they had ordered this dish. They’ll never learn. Or, we are just so indecisive that we have in-turn created decisiveness… in our usual choices that is. Take it for what you will.

Last, but not least, is the “famous” Southport cupcake. (The cupcakes is offered in Gluten Free too!)
The cupcake is yummy. I enjoy the chocolate. However, the vanilla is much too sugary for me. Lisa and Kate tend to generally prefer vanilla cupcakes, today they were with me on this one. The chocolate is not a rich or dark chocolate, it is light but still provides a hint of savory to offset the extremely sugary frosting. I have to say that the sugary frosting is yummy simply because it’s sugar. I wouldn’t say that it has any extremely unusual flavor- just a sugary, grainy texture which is actually a pleasing texture. You can taste the high quality ingredients so please don’t get me wrong about the cupcakes, they are a well made baked-good and I would recommend trying them to any going that way.

Famous Southport Cupcake. One chocolate, one vanilla.

Over all Southport Grocery is a classic in my book. I have never taken a single person there that has not been impressed, if not blown out of the water. My dad loves it. My mountain man loves it. My non-foodie friends love it. It’s just a fun spot with great food. Plain and simple. I think today was just a weird day and we got slightly unlucky with something or another. I will be going back and am sure I will be just as happy as I always am. If you aren’t as into the above dishes another few I would recommend are: the Bruschetta, Our Southern (My mountain main particularly LOVES the jam-filled biscuit), the Hash, Our Club, the Grilled Turkey, or the Grilled Brie. Basically try what sounds good to you, and I’m sure you’ll be impressed. 
The final result is a Green light: Go! 
Southport Grocery Chicago

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