Archive for the ‘soup’ Tag

Gourmet on the Go   Leave a comment

Beginning as a small outlet for seasonings, Garden of the Gods Gourmet has a long local history. It’s evolved as a local catering favorite and as a place to purchase upscale meals-to-go. Also, it has emerged as small, out-of-the-way lunch, and occasional dinner, spot. That latter point is precipitating an upcoming move to a larger, more visible location.

Sometime this fall, according to the market manager, it will relocate to the corner of U.S. Highway 24 and 26th Street. That will allow for longer business hours for the catering side and a bigger restaurant space. The new site should also include better ventilation.

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Although it was a hot day on a recent visit, the limited shade in the patio area was far more comfortable than the stifling temperature inside. Fortunately, the soup of the day was a cold, refreshing roasted red pepper and corn which highlighted each ingredient. Along with a cup of soup, I had half of the Beef Banh Mi. Traditionally served with thinly-sliced pork, this roast beef version also featured pickled carrots, cucumbers, radishes and fresh cilantro on a baguette baked in-house. Because of the heat, and the inability to resist, we ordered the raspberry-lemon gelato. Neither flavor overwhelmed the other.

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Garden of the Gods has successfully managed to remain a catering, epicurean market and restaurant with a cohesiveness that doesn’t make it feel like an establishment with multiple personalities. Its new locale is likely to better showcase its strengths.

Garden of the Gods Gourmet Café and Market
Four Plates
2528 W. Cucharras Ave.
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Good Food, Good Beer   1 comment


Although the window into the kitchen of Trinity Brewing Company is small, diners can almost see food being prepared. On the other hand, larger windows provide spacious views of the brew master at work. Brew pubs shouldn’t get a pass on food just because beer is their primary focus. Fortunately, Trinity appears to agree – even if the observation point is restricted.

Of course, we ordered beer. I was in the mood to sample the pumpkin saison, but it was only being sold in much larger quantities than we cared to consume. We settled for the Flo, the in-house I.P.A. Trinity brews its beer on premises, but also features around 35 different “guest beers” on tap.

I ordered the Soul Gouda Soup and Forest Salad of organic spinach, red onions, walnuts and mushrooms with a tangy Tahini-lemon dressing. The soup arrived at the table looking like a bowl of peanut butter topped with pretzel pieces and green onions. It’s the kind of thing most five-year-olds would push aside and refuse to taste. My palate is far removed from that kind of disdain, and while I agree it didn’t look very appetizing the soup was decadently rich, creamy and full of flavor. The buttery, smoky gouda was augmented by the Soul Horkey Ale.

My husband’s Balsamic Chicken Wrap was good but messy. We shared an order of Belgian Fries. These twice-fried potato sticks are served in a paper cone and come with a choice of sauces. The homemade Ketchup was a good pick.

Trinity Brewing Company
Three-and-a-half Plates
1466 Garden of the Gods Rd.
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.