Not all chains are created equal and this is a good example. On first glance it might seem just like Panera but as the folks at Cafe Zupas will tell you, everything’s made fresh, including the soups which are made from scratch on the premises daily. The food is a step up from the majority of fast-casual eateries. The Asian BBQ pork sandwich is reminiscent of a banh mi with its flavors and the size is great for the price ($7.99 for a whole sandwich and small soup combo). The lobster bisque was full of potatoes, vegetables, and other goodness but lacked lobster. I only counted two or three small chunks.

The kid’s menu was disappointing. While my kid liked the chicken strips (2 per order), they were rather small and unimpressive looking. The kid’s meal requires them to choose 2 of the four options (chicken strips, soup, grilled cheese, or fruit) but they’re not allowed to double up on a single item (like 2 orders of chicken). My kid didn’t like the texture of the bread for the grilled cheese and I knew he wouldn’t touch the soup or fruit. So, on future visits it looks like he’ll only eat half of what we pay for.

Desserts were highlights of the meal. The chocolate cake was plenty rich and we loved the different layers and textures of cream, cake, fudge, and crust. The chocolate hazelnut creme brulee was more like a pudding with it’s creamy texture, but was good nonetheless. Each meal also comes with a chocolate covered strawberry.

My meal (and my son’s) was comped as they were having a special service/soft opening for media types and bloggers. Looking at their prices, they seem reasonable compared to similar establishments. The biggest downsides are that they don’t have a variety of breads from which to choose — they’re all paninis — and the kid’s menu is limited. Otherwise, it’s a great option for a quick meal.

7521 W Lake Mead Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89128
(702) 763-6550

Cafe Zupas on Urbanspoon