A comfy coffee shop provides welcome shelter from chilly weather; after all, most coffee shops are in the business of generating steam. Even if you have difficulty peering through the windows from the outside, it's a good bet that inside you'll find a safe haven from Old Man Winter. Port Side's steel-and-glass exterior may look a little icy, but with the espresso machines running at full blast and a soup pot simmering on the stove, you won't need to huddle in a corner with your coat to stay warm.
Port Side is more than a coffee stop; last spring this branch of Huckleberry Roasters at 2500 Larimer Street added a food menu, got a new name — and also threw in beer and wine for evening guests. The menu is simple but filled with good ingredients and homestyle offerings, including a seasonal soup-and-grilled cheese sandwich combo for $10.
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This week the soup is a winter-squash bisque that glows with an end-of-summer orange to remind us of warmer days. There's a touch of spice, and the texture is so smooth and velvety, you'll be reminded of childhood bowls of tomato soup. On the side: a crusty sandwich built with slices of Grateful Bread batard that oozes two-year-old Cabot white cheddar. A garnish of pickled summer squash adds another summery element.
The soup and sandwich combo changes regularly, but the pot is always simmering and the steam is always filling Port Side with delicious aromas and embracing warmth.