This weekend marks the beginning of our own Toscano’s “ Souper Bowl” contest. Although there won’t be any New England clam chowder or Arizona tortilla soup, there will be… (drum roll) …. North Carolina Classic Chicken and Rice soup, and Denver Buckhorn Bean Soup. These soups will be available today through Super Bowl Sunday. We hope you will have an opportunity to try both, casting your “ballot of the palate” for one of these delicious options. We’ll see if the favorite choice of Toscano patrons matches the outcome on the field!
John and Joe chose these soups for a number of reasons. North Carolina is famous for its long-grain, so-called Carolina rice. First introduced in the 1600s, rice became a staple crop in the low-country (along the coast, as opposed to high in the mountains) economies that ran from what is now North Carolina to northern Florida.
Buckhorn Bean Soup is adapted from the original recipe of Denver’s Buckhorn Exchange Restaurant. The Buckhorn opened in 1893 and has become a favorite steakhouse for those seeking hearty western fare. This soup was an overwhelming favorite here at Toscano’s two years ago, when the Seattle Seahawks overwhelmed the Broncos on the field.
You are probably wondering by now, “What menus have John and Joe planned to represent the locales of the two teams?” Their research is complete and they have two four-course menus in the works. Our guests may choose one or the other complete menu, mix or ask for a combo platter with both offerings.
Delights of Denver
Buckhorn Bean Soup
Cherry Creek Salad
This salad of spinach, shredded chicken, cherries, dates, apples, pecans and cheddar cheese drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette is a popular item on the menu at John Elway’s Colorado Steakhouse. This is a fitting choice for those who appreciate “old” quarterbacks and especially for Broncos’ fans, who appreciate Elway as the General Manager of the team.
Colorado ranks fourth in sheep population in the U.S. – definitely not to be confused with mountain goats.
Rocky Mountain Brownies a la mode
These should not be confused with Colorado’s now-famous “Mary Jane” brownies.
Orange Crush soda
In the 1970s, this was the nickname for the Broncos’ defense.
Carolina Chicken and Rice Soup
Shrimp and Grits
Grits is made from ground maize (corn) and was a staple of Native American culture.
Carolina Barbecued Pork
with both white and dark meat
Moonshine Poached Pears with Butter Pecan Ice Cream
The mountaineers of western Carolina were known for their moonshine, and did you know that, in some years, North Carolina produces about 3,000 tons of pecans?
Pepsi was “born” in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898, where it was first introduced at Caleb Bradham’s pharmacy.
Looking ahead to Super Bowl Sunday (February 7), we would like to offer some advice for those of you who like to make friendly wagers on the game. There’s no need to check ESPN, Sports Illustrated, or Foxsports for their analyses of the big game – just check with our own homegrown football fans, Anna and William Bruno. This Dynamic Duo of Football Frenzy has quite a record this season(6-0): they picked the Falcons over the Eagles, the Dolphins over the Eagles, the Buccaneers over the Eagles, the Eagles over the Patriots. Last week they picked North Carolina over Arizona and much to their grandfather’s chagrin, Denver over New England. They have not yet decided which team will win Super Bowl 50, as they claim to admire both teams. We will keep you posted once they have their pick.