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Tupelo Junction Cafe Looms Bright as The Porch Swings No More

To be honest, The Porch was good but never great. The feta cheese crumbled on top of the guacamole was a nice, salty touch and the flatbreads more often than not delivered but overall, The Porch occupied that precarious space between elevated bar food and ambiguously mediocre “New American” dining.

If you check Yelp, the reviews for The Porch are all shiningly stellar but even the sweet sounds of positive public opinion couldn’t keep this quaint, Newport Beach spot open because, well, it’s closed.

In its place now stands the newly taupe-painted “Tupelo Junction Cafe,” a restaurant perhaps owing its namesake to the classic Van Morrison riff.

Tupelo Junction is owned, as a sign on the door announces, by Amy Michele Scott, who also helmed an establishment of the same title in Santa Barbara, which closed with suspicious brevity about two weeks ago. (The mystery here may be solved quickly. A November 20 article on SaveNewport.com explains Scott is a Corona del Mar resident who wanted to focus her efforts on an O.C. locale.)

A quick Google search reveals mixed reviews for Scott’s onetime-Central Coast mainstay. “I will miss the beignets, Crab Cake and Potato Hash with Poached Egg, Crab Claw Blood Mary,” said Vickie Harvey, a diner commenting on an article about the now-bereft Tupelo Junction. Though others writing in response to the same story were not so sanguinely nostalgic.

“My wife and I had one of the most shockingly bad meals in our lives here about a year or so ago, so something was totally off,” wrote a user on the site who identified himself only as Ted. “When something goes from yummy to garbage something is very much amiss. Like, how do you mess up mac’n’cheese? But they did.”

As for how it’ll fare on Balboa Peninsula, the verdict is still out, though Tupelo Junction Cafe has smartly retained most of the same staff as The Porch, so at least the continuity of familiar faces is working in its favor. BTW, you can view the complete menu here (it’s the same as what was offered at the Santa Barbara location) and if you do visit, drop us a line and let us know what you think. We’ll be visiting soon to offer our full review.

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