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.
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.
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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.