Walter Mencken 2:08 p.m., Aug. 27
New soup joint in North Park dishes up warm comfort on cold days
As cold and rainy and all around nasty as it’s been lately, soup seems like a fantastic idea, right? Nothing warms the bones better and wards off torpidity like a piping hot bowl of soup, chowder, bisque, stew, pottage, bouillon, consomme, broth, or whatever moniker fits. The recently opened San Diego Soup Shoppe (superfluous ‘pe’ and everything) on El Cajon Boulevard can rise to the challenge of battling those wintry blues.
It’s a “soup and sandwich” affair with little more than handcrafted soup and panini on the menu, but I appreciate a little specialization as there’s something to be said for doing better by doing less.
I tried a few of the soups and found them all very agreeable. Clam chowder hadn’t been overdone to the point where the simplicity of the briny clams and creamy base were overshadowed by extraneous details. Lobster bisque was rich, salty, and laced with the inimitable taste of sherry. Roasted red pepper and gouda, despite lacking any meatiness, was both rich and satisfying.
Really, there was nothing wrong with the soups at all. The price felt a bit steep at $6 per bowl, though adding the crusty, sourdough bread bowl for $2 transformed the cup of soup from a snack to a meal. It was a little more expensive than grabbing a burrito, but the change of pace and hearty, warming powers of the soup make the extra couple of dollars seem a pittance.
Regrettably, I dined sans camera so there’s no eye-catching evidence of the meal, but trust me on one thing: it looked like soup.
2850 El Cajon Boulevard