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Shuga’s Soup Revisited   Leave a comment

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Although I try not to review a place more than once, lunch at Shuga’s inspired me to write again about its signature dish.

Shuga’s Restaurant is noisy! What’s more, it’s small to the point of being cramped, and in the winter, because it’s an old clapboard house, it’s cold. This is not the place for a romantic interlude or a business meeting. Despite these negatives, this is where to come for remarkable flavor combinations and lively, albeit loud, conversation.

The menu features a handful of what are called Boards but could easily be labeled tapas, sandwiches, salads and soups, including Shuga’s signature dish: Spicy Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup. It’s available by the bowl or cup, but unfortunately not by the tureen. Nonetheless, it’s a mouthful. That’s a good thing. It’s spicy thanks to a jalapeno kick, and the sweet, rich coconut milk base is evident in taste and thickness, but there’s more – more even than the plump, firm shrimp that sink to the bottom of the bowl. The addition of grated ginger and, although it takes a few sips to distinguish, creamy peanut butter elevate the soup from the exotic to the sublime.

When the food arrives at tables, the din doesn’t diminish. There’s never a lull even as the flavors transcend the animated setting of the modest house, but no one minds.

Shuga’s Restaurant
Four-and-a-half Plates
702 S. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO

A Residence of Flavors   2 comments

A simple, colorful sign on the white clapboard siding indicates Shuga’s is not a residential house. Nonetheless, it’s home to good food and comfort. Celebrating a friend’s birthday, we enjoyed a long, better-than-average lunch outside (a few tables are at the entrance, and a larger patio is in back).

The Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup is Shuga’s signature dish. It’s available by the bowl or cup. I wish it were sold by the potful. We each ordered soup with two bruschetta. We both had the fresh tomato and mozzarella, but took different directions with the second. She had the tomato, bacon and goat cheese, and I had smoked salmon.

The range of flavors was like sibling rivalry, each vying to top the other. Parents aren’t supposed to play favorites, but as a diner it was easy to choose: the soup. Plump shrimp, a hit of jalapeno spiciness offset by the rich, smooth coconut milk and the suggestion of peanuts completed the bisque. As my friend said, “It’s a series of flavors.”

Thick slices of hard-crusted bread were the base of the bruschetta. One was slathered with aioli then topped with a generous serving of smoked salmon, capers and red onions. The other was a version of Caprese with olive oil, substantial slices of salty cheese and taste-of-summer tomatoes topped with fresh basil. The soup may have overshadowed, but these sides were not family embarrassments.

It’s been years since I was last at Shuga’s. I won’t make the mistake of waiting so long to return.

Shuga’s
Four-and-a-half Plates
702 S. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO.