A few months ago, I was invited to attend a VIP Grand Opening event at a new Cafe Zupas location here in Boise. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because the location where the party was is actually the third that they opened in our area! We’ve now been a handful of times, and I am a total convert now!
Thoughts: The soup was really good. Creamy, but not overly cheesy. It tasted just like roasted cauliflower. The fresh herb chicken sandwich was basically a traditional chicken salad, but with a few more herbs. It was good, but really salty. Granted, I’m not a huge fan of putting salt on / in anything I cook at home, so I’m a little more sensitive to it, but even my mom agreed that they had been a little heavy handed with the salt. The Mixed Berry Creme Brûlée was a little too sweet for my taste, and I did miss the crunchy torched sugar topping, but the Pomegranate Lime drink was amazing and I would seriously go there all the time, just to get more of it! Do you think they’d let me bring a gallon jug and just fill it myself?!
Thoughts: Growing up on the East Coast, we’re accustomed to a rich and creamy clam chowder, full of clams and potatoes. Cafe Zupas’ New England clam chowder was a bit of a let down because it was a pretty thin consistency, and only had a few clams. The flavor was still good, but it just wasn’t what we were quite expecting. We are both big fans of pesto, so her pesto chicken sandwich was really yummy, but again just a little heavy on the salt. The shining star of her order was the raw honey lemonade! My mom has her own bees, so we’re used to real, raw honey, and I had a hard time deciding if I liked her lemonade or my Limeaid more. It was just sweet enough to balance the tartness of the lemonade and so, so, so good.
Whatever Cafe Zupas is doing with their drinks, they need to keep doing it! I’ve since gone back to another one of our local locations and had the pesto chicken sandwich again, and it was much less salty the second time around. My theory is the new location was getting used to the recipes and the more they make the sandwiches and soups, the better they get! Overall, our entire experience was great – the restaurant is very clean and bright, the staff were all courteous and willing to answer our questions and make suggestions, and despite the saltiness, the food was good.
On my list of things I’d still like to try:
- The BBQ pork sandwich (house made honey mustard? YUM!)
- Crab Avocado melt (two of my favorites combined into one toasted sandwich!)
- Turkey Spinach Artichoke (I’m a sucker for sandwiches that have artichokes on them!)
- MangoBerry Salad (I mean, mango yogurt dressing and cinnamon almonds? Sold!)
- Asian Citrus Chicken Salad (even reading the description makes me salivate!)
With locations in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada and Utah, and coming soon to Illinois, it’s pretty obvious that Cafe Zupas is a popular place to enjoy some lunch with coworkers, friends or family!
Have you ever been to Cafe Zupas? What is your favorite thing to order? I’d love to hear what I should (or shouldn’t!) try!