Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dining: Southport Grocery and Café

The brunch is its claim to the dining game

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Southport Grocery and Cafe's Bread Pudding Pancakes (at left)

The venue's café is carefully crafted around its unconventionally chic grocery section, so if you’ve got an eye on the jalapeno-flavored lemonade mix or Eduardo’s lean-minded wheat linguine, you can jump right on it after brunch.

Brunch, in fact, is Southport Grocery’s claim in the dining game, with the locals coming for the gooey bread pudding pancakes, homestyle “grown up” pop tarts oozing with fresh berry preserves, mascarpone cheese and roasted vanilla walnuts, and more. Then there’s the mimosa. Prepared with freshly squeezed mango, orange, pear or peach juice, it arrives with a miniature bottle of bubbly that’s tempting to gulp alone. But it’s not just about a sugar rush; you’ll salivate over savory items like the Bruschetta topped with scrambled eggs, smoked chicken sausage, queso fresco and tomato-red onion-balsamic mix or a fresh spinach, tomato and sage white cheddar omelet. There’s also a host of sandwiches and salads.

It would probably be some sort of crime if you managed to get out the door without buying at least one of their irresistible cupcakes. Unlike most pastry shops, Southport’s keeping it simple, offering only chocolate and vanilla with a drool-worthy buttercream frosting.

Southport Grocery and Café, 3552 N. Southport Ave., 773-665-0100. Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To order online, hit up -- Audarshia Townsend