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On a miserable Friday 13th in the Gaslamp like tonight, this is the answer: Hot butternut soup.

Sitting here at The Hopping Pig (734 5th Avenue, 619-546-6424)...

...nursing an Arrogant Bastard (another beautiful cold weather consolation, $6), and watching as the cook brings out this big $5 china bowl of steaming, garlicky, I swear, golden butternut soup.

Could do with some bread, for sure, but can't beat the sweet, rich tummy-warmer gloop going down, and making you think of grandma's place when you'd come in all muddy and wet and sniffling and cold.

They have the $5 soup deal every day here, as well as happy hour snack deals starting at $3 (till 7:00 p.m.). And interesting craft beers most times too.

Only thing keeps worrying me: How da heck did they come up with that crazy name "Hopping Pig?"

Anybody know?

Meanwhile, this slurp's for you, gramma!

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