A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 24, 2008
Painted Desert Soup (black bean soup + corn chile chowder)

"Painted Desert Soup” is a specialty of the Blue Mesa Grill (various locations, originally in the Dallas area in the 1990s). The soup actually combines two popular Southwestern soups—black bean soup and corn chile chowder, re-creating some of the colors of Arizona’s Painted Desert.

The Santa Fe Cafe in Hilton Head, South Carolina, serves a “Southwestern Painted Desert Soup” of corn and red pepper. The Great Northern Tavern and Brewery in Colorado serves a “Painted Desert Soup” described as “a red beet and yellow pepper vichysoisse.”


Wikipedia: Painted Desert, Arizona
Painted Desert is the name for a broad area of colorful badlands located in Northern Arizona in the United States. The desert stretches from the Grand Canyon National Park into the Petrified Forest National Park and runs roughly astride and just north of the Little Colorado and the Puerco Rivers. The area within the Petrified Forest National Wilderness is also known as the Painted Desert Wilderness.

Blue Mesa Grill (TX)
Painted Desert Soup
Two soups in a bowl—as colorful as the Southwest. Black bean and corn chile chowder.
cup 3.95 bowl 4.95

Blue Mesa Grill: Recipes
Painted Desert Soup
As colorful as the Southwest.
Two soups in a bowl - Corn Chile Chowder and Black Bean. Make sure the soups are of a similar consistency so that they don’t run together when they’re ladled in the bowl.

Corn Chile Chowder
12 fresh, yellow corn cobs
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups heavy cream
12 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cut up
2 TB. canned jalapenos, finely minced (no juice)
1 TB. salt
corn starch - as needed
cold water - as needed
(...)
Black Bean Soup
1/2 lb. hickory smoked bacon
1/2 lb. chopped yellow onions
1 TB. chopped garlic
4 cups uncooked black beans, cleaned
water as needed
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp. chipotle puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 TB. salt
1 tsp. black pepper (...)

Santa Fe Cafe (Hilton Head, SC)
SOUTHWESTERN PAINTED DESERT $6.50
Corn and red pepper soups with Ancho chile cream

Bistro at the Beechwood Inn (Clayton, GA)
Painted Desert Soup - (Black Bean,. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Puree. with Crème Fresh) $7.00. 

10 April 1994, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Blue Mesa food doesn’t just taste good—it looks it” by Teresa Gibbins:
Painted desert soup ($2.95) combined creamy corn chile chowder with black bean soup, but the presentation utilized a technique seen at places such as the ...

Google Groups: houston.eats
Newsgroups: houston.eats
From: Janet Green
Date: 1996/05/29
Subject: Re: Desperately seeking NuMex Food

I assume you’re talking about Southwestern style food.  Try Mesa, it’s primo Southwestern food.  It is a sister resturant to Blue Mesa in Dallas and there are a few items you should not miss....Painted Desert Soup and Adobe Pie are two of my favorites.  Also, be sure to drink a glass of iced tea.  They have a unique flavor to their tea.

2 August 1996, Dallas (TX) Morning News, Blue Mesa Grill review by David Tarrant:
Painted desert soup combined perfect side-by-side hemispheres of black bean and corn chili chowder in a cup. The lovely black-white soup was not only ...

Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Great Northern Tavern & Brwry
Greg Moody
Tuesday, September 1, 1998
(...)
By the way, beautiful to look at, is the chilled Painted Desert soup ($3.50), a red beet and yellow pepper vichysoisse with cilantro, ancho and red pepper creams. Unusual in taste and texture, bordering on a chilled vegetable puree, it’s a work of art for which you must develop a taste.

Houston (TX) Chronicle
31 December 1999, Houston (TX) Chronicle, “Mesa Grill No. 2: All things not created sequel” by Alan Truex, Dining Guide, pg. 6:
On the plus side is the Painted Desert soup ($2.75 for a large “cup"), a standby of the old Mesa, an artistic presentation of black bean on one side and corn chowder on the other.

Kathy Kula—Disney’s Hilton Head Resort
Tuesday, March 7, 2000:
(...)
We drove over to the Santa Fe Cafe, and it was open. We were seated quickly. I ordered my standard for the trip “Sprite,” (no caffeine, no artificial sweeteners, a relatively good choice if I happen to be pregnant), when she asked if we’d like margaritas. Hmmm… I’d love a margarita, but I’m not drinking alcohol right now… After she left, Stan reminded me that I could always order a virgin margarita, so we called her back to the table, and I ordered a virgin, and Stan ordered a regular one. MMMmmmm… it was yummy! Hugh had told us not to miss the “Painted Desert soup” so we each ordered a bowl of that and some tortilla chips. The chips were great - very warm. The salsa was so fresh, and she also gave us a bowl of this green salsa that was very spicy… and very tasty. The Painted Desert soup is two different colored cream soups poured into a bowl at the same time to create a horizon. Guacamole and mole sauce are used to draw cacti, clouds, etc., a dollop of sour cream acts as the sun. It was beautiful and delicious! 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 24, 2008 • Permalink