A friend and I were headed to Ikea (glassware for her, drapes for me) and decided to forego our usual Swedish meatballs in favor of Soup du Jour’s extensive soup menu. We arrived a little early for lunch, but were glad we did; the restaurant quickly filled to capacity with patrons enjoying Chef Michael Marks’ daily-made concoctions.
When I saw that we could get flights of soup, my heart soared. Flights of soup! I could try a lot of soup all at once! The soup flights at Soup du Jour are much like wine flights — 3 ounces of any soup of your choosing for $1.40 each. If you’re not in the mood for flights, you can choose a 12-ounce bowl ($4.85) or an 8-ounce cup ($3.55). Soup du Jour doesn’t only offer 18-plus soups per day (find out what will be available by checking www.soupjones.com before you go); they also have salads, sandwiches, desserts and, from 9-10:30 a.m., breakfast. My friend and I chose three flights each and split a salad and sandwich combo meal ($12.95).
I was intrigued by the description of the house salad ($6.85 a la carte), in that it contained cashew brittle.
The soups, however, are what will bring me back again and again to Soup du Jour. They make me wish I had this restaurant in my neighborhood. I decided to try a flight trio: butternut squash and Fuji apple; spicy tomato and sausage; and crab bisque. The squash soup was lovely, with just the right amount of apple — not enough to outshine the squash but enough sweetness to balance it. I ended up loving the tomato and sausage soup more than I thought I would. It was quite spicy but not overwhelmingly so and I could clearly taste the tomato. I love good crab bisque and Soup du Jour’s is better than good. My only complaint was that I found two pieces of shell in my soup, though I know how tedious it can be to pick through crab meat.
My friend had the curried carrot, mushroom and bread, and Italian chicken and vegetable soups. The carrot soup was a delightful surprise, full of curry but not so much that it drowned the carrot. I don’t usually like mushrooms but the mushroom and bread soup was rather delightful, bready, hearty and filling. The only disappointment (and it was a small one) was the Italian chicken and vegetable soup. It was a little too oily but really fresh and bright otherwise.
The soups come with a choice of beer bread, which was quite nice, and corn bread, which was sweet and delicious. We also tried the brownie ($1.99) and a chocolate chip cookie ($1.00) for dessert and I was just blown away by the fact that Chef Mike and his staff can make from scratch, such a variety of consistently good food.
I’ll be back. I’m sure I’ll need something from Ikea. Soon.
CONTACT CANDACE MILLER-JANIDLO: firstname.lastname@example.org