Monday, June 7, 2010

Southport Grocery

Saturday afternoon was kind of rainy and sleepy. Ernie had some early morning softball games and saw that Southport was closed down due to a street festival. We decided to walk over during the afternoon to check it out. The fest turned out to be sponsored by Cuervo and they had all kinds of games similar to what you’d see on MTV Real World/Road Rules challenges but not nearly as intense. We watched a bunch of people fall off a rock climbing wall while being sprayed by water flowing at 8 gal/seconds. What a waste of water. I guess you could sign up in teams and compete for prizes and such.

We walked down to the end of the street and stopped into Southport Grocery. I’ve heard from friends that this place has great brunches and amazing cupcakes (though no one mentioned a gluten-free variety). Ernie got a glass of white wine and after a short debate of should-I-shouldn't-I, I ended up with a vanilla gluten-free cupcake. I’m usually a chocolate girl, but the gluten-free cupcakes were only in vanilla. We sat outside at metal tables on the sidewalk and watched the activities in the street. I also ran into a co-worker who was lunching with a friend while a former intern walked by on the street. The co-worker and I yelled her name to catch her attention. We made some small talk and I wished her well in her job search.

The cupcake and wine arrived. Ernie didn’t care much for the white wine but drank it anyway. On the other hand, the cupcake was delicious! The texture was super moist and dense, almost like angel-food cake and tasted of sweet vanilla extract. The butter crème frosting on top was very sugary sweet but complimented the fresh cupcake nicely. There was no chalky or powdery aftertaste like a lot of other gluten-free substitutes.

I later checked the website where they say, “our Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes are to die for.” To die for? Maybe extreme. Extraordinarily yummy? Yes definitely. There’s no mention of the gluten-free variety but I assure you that there were several on hand Saturday afternoon.

I would say that this cupcake is better than the Swirlz cupcakes that you can buy at Whole Foods, but slightly worse than the cupcakes you can buy directly at the Swirlz bakery. Plus, Swirlz has a huge variety (I still love the banana nutella best) and they are very carefully decorated. If you can see from the picture below, Southport Grocery has some work to do on their frosting capabilities!  Ernie's looking over at the hula-hooping Cuervo girls who have cottage cheese legs. The view didn't give me much inspiration to eat the cupcake as I was worried about what my legs might look like!

Southport Grocery & Café
3552 N Southport Ave
Chicago IL 60657

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