By Susanne Beck
With frigid temperatures bearing down on us, the time seems right to get out — or order in — to celebrate this month’s designation as National Soup Month. Despite its often salty undertones, soup has long been considered an elixir of sorts for body and spirit. The word itself suggests “hygge” and all the winter-warming imagery that comes along with it. And the steam from the bowl seems to offer a low-cost facial to boot.
While this writer prefers the depth of a good strong broth (think Brodo at 2144 Broadway near 75th Street), restaurant personnel point to a broader range of tastes and availability around the Upper West Side. Among them:
Café Luxembourg’s General Manager, Rachel Cornish, says that for years the crowd favorite has been their French onion soup. “It’s a classic.” Savor a cheesy bowlful at $18 at 200 West 70th Street.
Lena, cashier and assistant general manager at Saiguette (935 Columbus Avenue at West 106th Street) tells us that while they have a large number of pho soups, “Number 21 is the most popular.” Depending upon which variation of beef you choose, the pho includes thin rice noodles with beef broth, onions, lime, bean sprouts, basil, jalapeno, hoisin siracha for meat dipping and a choice of three types of raw beef. Monday through Friday, from Noon to 5PM, you can enjoy it for 10% off the list price of between $12.50 and $14.50.
Over at Viand, on Columbus and 85th Street, Nick the manager confirms that they offer at least five different soups a day. This time of year, it’s the Greek Lemon Chicken for $9.75 that attracts the day and nighttime soup lovers.
And if ramen is your thing, check out Zurutto Ramen and Gyoza Bar at 142 West 72nd Street, where a helpful staff member says the spicy Zurutto Tantan (Spicy level 3; sesame chicken broth, spicy oil, ground pork, seasoned boiled egg, onion, scallion, onion, and bamboo shoots) for $15 satisfies more than most.
West Side Rag would love to hear about your favorite place and soup to slurp the warming. Put it in the comments and we’ll compile a list to get us all through the winter.
On Wednesdays, WSR highlights the favorite local dishes of readers in a column called Here’s the Dish. Send your favorite dish with a photograph to email@example.com. It’s good for your neighbors and for local restaurants — and the byline is a lot of fun.
You can read all our Here’s the Dish columns here.