Local Flavor: Outerlands' Soups and Sandwiches Cut Through the Summer Fog

Categories: Brody, Hot Meal
out exterior.jpg
Meredith Brody
The Outer Sunset cafe offers relief from summer's chill.

Though you can see the Pacific from Outerlands' corner, and the interior is lovingly assembled from driftwood, there's a bit of Vermont lurking about the place. The rustic Outer Sunset café -- which opened in February -- is run by people flinty enough to get up very early to bake lévain bread, lattice-topped blueberry-nectarine pies, organic brownies, and prepare daily-changing hearty soups. 

That excellent lévain was put to good use in a big Black Forest ham open-face topped with sweet caramelized onions and N.Y. cheddar ($8), with a cup of celery soup sprinkled with crunchy breadcrumbs ($3 with a sandwich, $6 for a bowl with toast). A slice of cherry-plum pie ($4) was amazing. Co-owner and dessert baker Lana Porcello (with David Muller) often hangs out with baby Leithian, which only adds to Outerlands' quirky but very real charm.

out sandwich.jpg
Meredith Brody
Soup and sandwich combo: Hearty.

The small-plates dinner menu is more ambitious than lunch (the chef, a veteran of Range and Serpentine, told us he wants to stay anonymous). Prices range from $2.50 to $13.50, and the dishes might include corn chowder with roasted peppers and marinated cherry tomatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, and fish stew with a spicy tomato-fennel broth. And we hear the caramelized apple and duck Dutch pancakes, baked eggs, and bacon of Sunday brunch are spectacular.

Outerlands 4001 Judah (at 45th Ave.), 661-6140


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