Monday, January 20, 2014

Best (and Worst) Soup

Soup's On!

I hear "soup," and I think home... as in making, and eating at. I don't often order it out, but what if I did? Perhaps somewhere in the nation's capital, there's a Soup Nazi just waiting to feed me. The search is on: Find DC's very own Soup Nazi. Here's what we came up with...

Au Bon Pain: I hate to say "an utter disaster," but Au Bon Pain's Chicken Noodle soup comes darn close to winning the title of worst soup in DC. Zero flavor, almost no chicken (literally one chunk) and visibly oily to a fault (mind you, still with no flavor) I instantly regretted spending the $3.49 they charge for a small cup. No crackers seals the deal for a "well-deserved" grade of F.

Grade: F

Chicken Noodle soup at Au Bon Pain

Cafe Carvy: I love surprises, and Cafe Carvy's Chicken & Rice soup is chock-full of 'em. Costs just $2.25 for a small... $2.75 for a large. Not the least bit salty; but piping hot, and full of fresh cut carrots & celery. As for the main ingredient... Do you like massive chunks of torn chicken (and lots of them?) Is the Pope Catholic? Sunshine Krispy crackers too, and you don't have to ask. 1020 19th Street, NW

Grade: B+

Chicken & Rice soup at Cafe Carvy

Potbelly Sandwich Shop: You get a SKINNY sandwich with a side of soup for under $7; and trust me, the soup more than holds up its share. For starters, it arrives (and stays) piping hot. That's not the only heat, thanks to a nice blend of spicy spices and chunks of tomato (no cream of tomato here.) Actually gives the Tomato Basil soupe (sic) at La Madeleine a run for its money. 4300 Connecticut Ave., NW

Grade: B

Potbelly's Classic Tomato

Pret A Manger: Give Pret A Manger credit for offering 100 calorie lunches; but their Chicken Noodle SM soup is a mighty stretch at 8 oz (closer to 6, since it wasn't full) for over $4. It's served cafeteria style, and surprisingly hot. Hardly any chicken (literally six tiny pieces) but mostly Mafalda noodles, diced carrots & celery. That said, it was still pretty tasty. No crackers (at least none that I could find... and I looked.) Good enough, if price is no object. 1701 K Street, NW

Grade: C+

Pret A Manger's Chicken Noodle SM soup

Subway: Jared's favorite sub shop is also home to a pretty good cup of chicken noodle soup. Normally priced at $2.50, you can add it to a sandwich order for just two bucks. Lots of thick noodles, carrots, celery and chunks of chicken... with a decent broth. Really nice to look at (especially visible bits of spices) but lacks saltiness. Great noodles and it's also available in half the time it takes to toast your sandwich. Sign me up. 5300 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Grade: B

Chicken Noodle Soup from Subway

and click below to see...

Buca di Beppo
Chalin's Restaurant
Jaleo Bethesda
La Madeleine
Noodles & Company