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On a trip to Julian last Friday, my friend Beans and I had a big decision to make: Would we be good or bad when it came to choosing a lunch spot? Before driving up, we’d both assumed we’d end up eating something we probably shouldn’t eat every day. Barbecue, burgers, or whatnot.

We must have been resigned to being bad because when a local suggested a place called Soups and Such Café, we hesitated. Traveling to a mountain town where our only choices were going to be Bad-for-you or Worse-for-you was going to be our excuse for eating poorly. So when the suggestion of a soup joint came up, we were kind of disappointed.

But, because we knew pie was on the horizon, we begrudgingly chose to be good.

Once inside, we found ourselves charmed by the country chic interior, iron teapots and flowers on display.

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The menu, too, proved more appealing than we’d expected.

The eclectic homemade soup choices alone made us think we might have chosen wisely: Thai style chicken, French onion, broccoli and brie, farm house, and corn and potato chowder.

Beans chose the Nicoise salad for $12.

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I went with the half sandwich (BLT), cup of soup (farm house), and green salad combo for $10.

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I couldn’t believe how good the soup was. I wanted to bring gallons back home. A combination of veggies, kidney beans, herbs and pasta, it was just the right choice to accompany the BLT. Add to that a tasty salad, and I ended up with that “Now I can eat pie without feeling crappy” feeling.

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Lani, who owns both the flower shop (Flowers by Lani) and Soups and Such Cafe with her husband Ibrahim, calls their place “the best restaurant in Julian." But she says this without a hint of arrogance, as if she's merely stating a fact. “Every place else, you get foods from a box or a can," she says. "Everything here is homemade.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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