The Original Soup Man — restaurant review — New York
Posted on August 21, 2007 by Kris Nelson
Ohhh drooool. :oP~~ Just typing out the name makes my mouth water. I was hard pressed to believe that people would wait in long lines and be rudely harassed for what, for soup?? Now that I’ve tried it, I fully understand.
Last year Chris and I had the best time milling around Manhattan (and yes, the other four burroughs) in the swampy humidity and freak downpours of a New York summer. It was a blast! The food was pretty incredible (I know I know I’m catching up on the reviews, okay?) and I knew I absolutely had to put the “Soup Nazi” down on the itinerary.
Now I’ve seen the infamous Seinfeld episode with the brusque chef squawking “no soup for you!” at those who fail to adhere to his strict rules for rapid ordering (based on Al Yeganeh’s real life successful shop and service), but whaddayaknow, I did exactly what Elaine did: I was indecisive (‘cos everything looked and smelled deeeevine), staring back and forth from the whiteboard to the sneezeguarded tureens, probably with my mouth wide open. I actually uttered “uhhhhh” a bunch before I could even speak again, settling on the lobster bisque, the ohmygod creamiest, smoothest, richest lobster bisque ever (and I’m verrry particular about lobster — Hoku’s is the only place I’d recommend so far). Thankfully I wasn’t kicked out. Chris had the Manhattan clam chowder which was also deeeelish. Coming from two creamy clam chowder fans, falling for the tomato-based switch is a feat in itself.
The “Soup Nazi” aka: “The Original Soup Man” is actually quite generous: complimentary goodies include your choice of an apple or orange, tons of fresh bread, and a Lindt Lindor chocolate truffle (an extra bon-bon is $1). A hefty-sized cup will run you about $4.95 (vegetable soups) to $5.95 (meat and poultry) to $6.95 (seafood). Specialty soups like the lobster bisque boost you up to $8.95 but it is definitely worth it. Larger sized bowls will run you only a couple bucks more. They mix up the menu daily, so you can be sure to try something new every time. They also have salads, smoothies, sandwiches (like smoked turkey and brie or three-cheese panini).
Understandably, there are over ten Original Soup Man locations in NY alone. I originally logged us down for the original store on 55th and 8th, but we serendipitously ended up at the one on 42nd and Fifth Avenue in Midtown. After ordering, we popped right across the street to the New York (Ghostbusters!) Public Library, to enjoy a little impromptu romance, cuddled on a cute sidewalk bistro set (except off the sidewalk on a quiet terraced area) as friendly fireflies weaved in and out of the manicured landscaping and thick night air around our table. It was so welcomingly surreal, food included. I think the Chrysler Building hovered in the near distance, too. Who would’ve thunk soup could satisfy or be romantic? It’s odd how even in the muggy heat, a nice cup of hot soup really hits the spot.
The Original Soup Man
Fifth Avenue location (kitty corner to the NY Public Library)
4 E. 42nd St at Fifth Ave – New York, NY
Sat & Sun 11am-6pm