Ray and I stopped downtown for lunch before braving the doc's for her last chicken-pox shot yesterday and discovered a place called "The Original Soup Man"* was there...when it hadn't been there before.
Now, I like soup. I mean, a few days ago, I had to crow over the fact that I had completely surpassed Panera soups. (I hadn't eaten there for a while.) My current obsession is vegetable soups, with just vegetables. Maybe some rice. Some Parmesan on top. Croutons. Bread with butter...not as "life-restoring" as a homemade chicken soup, but soothing of all weariness and ennui, without being peppy.
Anyway. Huge line of people, men in suits and ties and women with clunky jewelry and guaze jackets: the (semi) professional moo crowd, willing to work so much unpaid overtime their hourly wages work out to McDonald's-level, willing to line up placidly for anything as long it had "gourmet" in front of it and they could get back to their desks in fifteen minutes so they could log in to a conferene call. Stood in line behind a guy with a shiny flag tie, suit, and buckskin shoes (not moccasins) who tried to tell Ray he didn't learn how to read until he was fifteen. The soup looked expensive and small. At the head of the line, talking to a fifty-year-old woman:
"We'd like the lobster bisque and the ham and cheese sandwich, with cheddar instead of--"
"The sandwiches are already made."
"Can we at least get it without mustard?"
We negotiated a different sandwich.
"What to drink?"
"Pineapple green tea for me, and milk--"
"We don't have any milk."
I pointed to the menu: Juices and Milk.
"We don't have any milk." She asked a coworker. "We don't have any milk."
"What do you have?"
"It's on the menu," she said.
"Milk's on the menu," I said.
Well, we negotiated our way through that, too. Paid up ($11 for a shared combo between the two of us), sat next to the overflowing garbage, and ate.
Gah! Delicious. I'd go there again...until I figured out how to make their lobster bisque, that is.
*Check out the Rules tab. Really.