I love trying new restaurants, and here in Phoenix, there are a ton of great restaurants, with new restaurants opening all the time. A new restaurant called Cafe Zupas recently opened near me. I was excited to see that it was opening near my office, so I decided to give it a try.
Cafe Zupas originated in Utah and has expanded to include locations in Nevada and Arizona. Cafe Zupas specializes in housemade soups, salads using fresh ingredients in a casual setting. The menu features gourmet salads, sandwiches and paninis and ten house made soups. Cafe Zupas also includes a drink bar that includes sixteen types of fountain drinks and Italian soda flavorings.
My first impression of the restaurant upon entering was good. Cafe Zupas is similar to restaurants like Paradise Bakery and Panera Bread, in that you order your items first, then pick up and enjoy your meal when it’s ready. The signs displaying the menus were bright, backlit and easy to read. Sandwiches and salad order stations are first, then the soup station, and lastly dessert.
After we ordered our items and received our meals, we headed to the dining area. The seating was very modern and clean and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The employees were very energetic and eager to help.
Now it’s on to the food! I came to Cafe Zupas with a friend, so we ordered several different items to try; I had the Chicken Enchilada Soup and Honey Bacon Club, and she had the BBQ Chicken Salad and BBQ Pork Sandwich. We also ordered the Salted Caramel Creme Brulee and Chocolate Covered Strawberries for dessert.
The Chicken Enchilada Soup I tried was very good; it had a great balance of savory and spiciness. I had the choice to top it with tortilla strips and avocado, and I would recommend adding them if you’re going to try this soup; it adds texture and depth. The Honey Bacon Club was fresh and flavorful. It was served on a ciabatta style bread that was soft, with just a slight crunch; enough to provide texture without cutting up your mouth and gums.
My friend really enjoyed the BBQ Chicken Salad she ordered. It was savory with just the right amount of sauce. The BBQ Pork Sandwich was also a hit. The meat was moist and not too saucy, and the BBQ sauce was sweet and had great flavor. The meat was topped with red cabbage which added a little extra crunchiness and complimented the meat well.
After we finished our dinner, we moved on to dessert. The Chocolate Dipped Strawberries were very well done and were a great sweet treat to top off our meal. We also ordered the Caramel Creme Brulee and this was probably the only item of our meal that wasn’t as good as we had expected it to be. It wasn’t necessarily that the dessert was bad…it just wasn’t what we expected. I would say that the Creme Brulee is more like a parfait than a brulee, and it was very sweet.
If you’re looking for arestaurant with a lot of variety on the menu and fresh ingredients, Cafe Zupas is a good choice. This is a great restaurant for a lunch date or casual dinner. If you live in Utah, Arizona or Nevada, be sure to look for a Cafe Zupas location near you.