Southport Bar and Grill 5220 E. Southport Road
Pat has mentioned this place a few times as he sees it quite often while shopping. He and Fran went one evening and thought it was worth a visit for lunch. I trust Pat’s taste and judgement as he can be pretty finicky. However on this I was a bit apprehensive. There are 2 food sites here. Urbanspoon and Yelp. On Yelp people were complimentary of the food not too complimentary on the service. On Urbanspoon only 3 people visited the joint, one liked it and only one wrote a review of it. He didn’t even eat there. He though the place too dirty. Well as soon as I walked in I wondered what joint he was writing about.
The place is huge. They have 3 pool tables and a section for bands. They offer live music on weekends; so I can see prompt service possibly being a problem when they are rockin’. As far as the “dirty” problem I saw a joint that looked pretty clean.
We were the first customers of the day so we had the joint to ourselves for a while. The bartender was quite able. Efficient and friendly. Between serving us, other customers and doing a few bartender jobs I don’t think he stopped for a minute.
When Pat was there last week he and Fran shared an appetizer; Sausage Pie. It’s Italian sausage, salami cubes and cheese with a bread crust, top and bottom. Like a deep dish pizza with a top. The resultant pieces are approximately three inches square and 2 inches thick. They come with sauce on the side and you can get 4 pieces for $4.95 or 8 for $8.95. Pat insisted on the larger order. He intended to “pig out on the pie and get a side salad for his entrée.
Yeah; we started eating before we took the shot. Just visualize 4 more pieces in the empty spaces.
They call this a side salad. $2.95. It’s sort a’ big. I got one just like it with my entrée. But; before I go there let us review the Sausage Pie. It was very good. Lovely taste and texture. A nice fennel flavor from the Italian sausage, melding nicely with the cheese,and a hunk of salami, every now and then. As I understand ,it is someone’s Grandma’s recipe. Very good job.
On the menu featured on their website the offer house made lasagna. And they offer it as a half, for $6.95 or a whole for $12.95. Well I wanted a half portion; but they don’t do that any more. So I ordered a full size. I only ate 2 pieces of my pie, half my salad and I was staring at a rather large piece of pasta, meat, cheese and red sauce. With some help from Pat I was only able to eat maybe one-third of the portion. But what I ate was quite good. The ricotta had a nice herb seasoning that fit the sausage and sauce quite well. This dish was superior to several that I have had at authentic Italian restaurants. My only question when I saw the dish was why so much marinara? It was pretty tasty, but most joints like to show off the browned cheese top. Well, when I got home with the left overs I learned why.
After I got home my better half ate the left overs. And she discovered that approximately half of the lasagna was burned on the top. The half farthest away from me. It wasn’t burned so badly as to render it inedible; but it was pretty dark. In either event it should not have been served. I have theories as to how it could have happened; but they are all moot. The kitchen guy screwed up. Our’s was his first ticket. It wasn’t like he was being slammed and in the weeds. It was his first ticket. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think this makes him a rotten cook or this a rotten joint. He just screwed up. His sausage pie was very good as was the first half of the lasagna. He just should not have sold that ticket. But will that stop me from going back. NO. They offer prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights. And they have ribeye on the menu. And I have a thing for steak and beer.