Battle of the Gazpacho Soups
Pita Jungle vs. Delux
Gazpacho is a cold soup, originally from Spain, and is the perfect antidote to these hellacious summer days. There are so many variations on gazpacho (chunky or pureed, spicy or mild) but they're all tomato-based and raw, making them vegetarian and, more often than not, vegan-friendly.
In One Corner: Delux
3146 E Camelback Rd
The gazpacho soup at Delux was chunky and the goat cheese melted evenly into the cold soup, which must be some crazy magic trick.
Delux makes great burgers and sweet potato fries, that much we know already, but a quick search on Yelp taught us they also serve gazpacho soup.
We arrived just before the lunch crowd. Bowls of gazpacho cost $5.50 and they don't serve soup by the cup. The waiter seemed a bit flummoxed at our request to split a bowl into two smaller portions, but he caved to our stinginess.
"It tastes like salsa turned into a soup," said our dining companion, a gazpacho virgin.
The soup was filled with diced zucchini, onions, tomato and bell pepper, topped with avocado and goat cheese, and served with Italian breadsticks. The soup had a mild spice that grew to a slow burn, ruining our breath in the meantime.
"I think I have dragon tongue," our friend said.
Still, the soup was great and quintessentially gazpacho-esque.
In the Other Corner: Pita Jungle
4340 E. Indian School Rd.
Pita Jungle's soup is seasonal so go before they yank it off the menu at the end of summer.
Eating at the Arcadia Pita Jungle is like having lunch in an elementary school cafeteria. It's a raucous dining hall with terrible acoustics. But on the plus side, our waitress was friendly and laid back, and didn't blink when all we ordered was two cups of gazpacho for $2.99 each.
Pita Jungle's gazpacho is called "Moroccan gazpacho." In addition to the traditional gazpacho tomato base, PJ adds pine nuts, white raisins, chick peas and cumin. Every bite was a grab bag; sometimes we got a hearty little chickpea, other times a sweet raisin.
"This one has more variety than the other guy," said our dining companion.
The Verdict: Pita Jungle
This was a tough match-up because both soups were really good, but in the end, we felt Pita Jungle's gazpacho had more going on.
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