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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

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

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM

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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.

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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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Meredith Brody

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