We aren't quite done with winter eats yet, and butternut squash is a classic ingredient for some popular seasonal dishes -- including butternut squash soup. While soup season is still in full swing, we decided to try out two local butternut squash options and see which one wins our battle.
In This Corner: Humble Pie
The Setting:We tried the central Phoenix spot; there are several Humble Pie locations across the Valley. This restaurant makes great use of natural light that gives it an open, vibrant feel. The space features rustic interior, exposed brick walls, tall ceilings and photos of how Phoenix has developed over the years. They're mostly known for their pizzas, the smell of which fills the air. The popular spot for business folk is packed around lunch hours. The space is open but small, and has an outdoor patio as well.
The Good: First of all, our soup came out only minutes after we ordered, which is a positive all by itself. This soup featured the classic sweet and nutty butternut flavor and came with a slice of buttered bread for your dipping pleasure. There was a generous amount of soup in a large bowl, easily making this dish a meal. The soup came out super hot, another plus.
The Bad: The soup was flavorful but after a while it began to lose its taste to the point where our taste buds got bored. There was nothing too special about it-- and the texture could have been smoother.
In This Corner: Timo Wine Bar
The Setting: This quaint restaurant, hidden amongst trees on Central Avenue, has the perfect vibe for an intimate dinner date or a group lunch get together. The inside is open and features a large bar on one side. The patio is reminiscent of a large home's backyard -- with trees, lights, a nice fence, and outdoor seating with a fire pit right in the middle for large groups. The patio is dog friendly.
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The Good: The butternut squash soup with crème fraiche and pancetta was presented in a square bowl. The top had perfectly drizzled sour cream and was adorned with bacon bits. The dish was beautiful, but more importantly, it tasted as good as it looked. The soup was smooth. The taste was sweet. We were happy to the bottom of the bowl. The soup is accompanied by a piece of cheesy corn bread that's both flavorful and out of the norm, adding a bit of excitement to an otherwise simple dish.
The Bad: The dish was slightly more expensive than Humble Pie's dish and featured less soup. The soup alone would not be enough to fill the average person for a meal.
The Winner: If you want more bang for your buck, Humble Pie's dish is the way to go; however we have to give this one to Timo Wine Bar. The soup's taste is more dynamic and the cheesy corn bread on the side will not leave you disappointed.