Southport Brewing Company
The night of Cinco de Mayo, FPB and its friends had a brilliant idea: to go out to a Mexican restaurant!
Unfortunately, everyone in Stamford had the exact same idea. It was already quarter past 7, and facing a 45-minute wait for a table at Maryann’s on Summer St., we made the executive decision to change plans on the fly and grab a table across the road at SBC. (And aren’t you lucky? Lately we’ve reviewed more Mexican than the INS. It was time for something different anyway).
For those who don’t know, SBC is a brewpub, serving standard American fare and a selection of beers brewed in-house to go along with the regular tap rotation. And being that the first location opened in Southport, CT, SBC actually stands for Southport Brewing Company, leading to a crippling case of acronym confusion whereby everyone accidentally calls it Stamford Brewing Company. Let’s just move on.
Being that it WAS still Cinco de Mayo, we all opened with a round of the Margaritas SBC was advertising on its doors - $6 apiece, and you get to keep the cup! The Margaritas were pretty good, though a tad sweet for my taste (and no rock salt – alas). The cup was just a flimsy plastic thing, so we didn’t actually take them home like we would if they were sweet pint glasses or something (double alas?)
For dinner, I split an order of fried calamari and a small Margherita pizza. The calamari was nice and crispy, lightly fried with two different dipping sauces (important for a schizo like me). The Margherita pizza here, though, is really a hidden treasure. I hadn’t had it since I barfed it up after Junior prom (not the pizza’s fault, vodka’s fault), but it was just as tasty as I remembered it (on the way down, at least). Plentiful cheese, juicy tomato slices everywhere, a healthy dose of basil – just a really well-done pie in a fairly unexpected place.
Kyle ordered the Brew Burger. Despite having only two slices of bacon, the flavor was all there. Well seasoned and properly cooked to "medium" meat, smothered in caramelized onions and fontina cheese. The fries weren't too shabby either!
I was so fired up, I decided to order one of SBC’s beers, the English Pale Ale. It was decent, smooth, drinkable, but just kind of unremarkable. Then I tried the IPA that Kyle ordered, and it tasted almost exactly the same. You really have to squint your tongue to notice much of a difference at all. They were like store-brand versions of a good beer - the basics were all there, but they were missing the subtleties and flavors that make a beer "craft". That's probably why they're only $4.50 apiece.
I mean - these beers aren’t BAD, they’re just…meh. And that’s a shame, because SBC has an awesome location, a great layout, good food, and it really has a chance to be the best bar in town, except that the one thing you’d expect a brewpub to have – awesome homemade beer - is missing. It’s like watching LeBron James squander his talent year after year in the playoffs - it’s painful to watch good potential go to waste.
SBC is still a fun place to hang out, particularly during the summer, and we WILL be back…we just wish they’d remember what the B in SBC stands for.