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96: Corn Chowder at Barrio

It's freezing outside, and the bone-chilling temperatures threaten to drop until we have no choice but to stay put, huddled inside our homes, snuggled under wool blankets watching Gilmore Girls, and eating microwave popcorn for dinner (again). But at some point, we're all just going to have to stiff-upper-lip the whole ordeal. That's right, we've gotta tell this horrid season who's boss. Slap on some massive boots, make sure the emergency blanket is in the trunk, and head out into the tundra.

See also: 97: Kopplin's Breve

Winter makes trips outside of the home ultimately more productive because nobody really wants to risk wind burn to run outside for a gallon of milk. So while we're out and about, getting oil changes, shopping for holiday gifts, we feel as though we're entitled to a treat. Something that will warm us from the inside. It's natural in the winter, we think, to pick a restaurant that specializes in food from warmer climates. Foods that make us remember fondly the two weeks(ish) of glorious summer we seem to get a year.

We think that Barrio, but more importantly, Barrio's corn chowder will quickly whisk you away to a happy place without single-side parking and salt-encrusted jeans. Barrio may not be everyone's favorite Mexican-style restaurant, and we totally get that. We often wonder what's up with those elf-sized bowls of chips? Not to mention, the decor makes us feel like we're an Ed Hardy commercial -- but we digress. Back to the soup.

It's presented with a streak of green chili oil in contrast to the pale cream-colored soup. The chili oil, a dusting of chili powder, a few fresh kernels of corn, cotija cheese, and a delicate cilantro leaf all float atop the creamy, slightly sweet bowl of delicious, soul-warming soup. It's a relatively large serving, so this soup would serve well as a full lunch, or perhaps for dinner one could order a taco or two to accompany it. But in all honesty, this soup is a real Murphy Brown -- no accompaniment needed.

Luckily for all of us, this soup is available year-round for an agreeable price of $7.50.

100: The Pickle Dog from the Minnesota State Fair 99: Mademoiselle Miel's Honey Bon-Bons 98: Giant Pretzel at New Bohemia 97: Kopplin's Breve

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