Continuing our Fashion Week theme, I decided to give the full +/- treatment to a place I discovered on Friday, and mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post. Walking back to work from taking pictures of ‘wichcraft for my Fashion Week guide to Midtown Lunch, I randomly stumbled upon this weird little soup place- and based on the name alone, and what was going on half a block away in Bryant Park, I figured I had to check it out. As big and strange as NYC is, it really is a small world. Coincidentally enough, I ran into a friend of mine from college who I’ve maybe seen twice in the past 7 years, who was picking up lunch in the weird soup place.. so I asked him if it was any good, and on his recommendation I decided to check it out.
Whatever pre-conceived notion you might have about a place called “Fashion Soup Corp” it’s definitely wrong. There’s nothing about this place that is fashionable (unless you count the fashion magazines strewn around the counter for patrons to read). It’s actually so bare bones, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they opened up just for Fashion Week attendees once a year (like those Halloween stores in the mall)… but that is not the case. Fashion Soup has been on 41st St. btw. 6th & Broadway for years- and the brother and sister duo who run it make a delicious array of homemade soups, sandwiches, quesadillas and empanadas for a menu that changes every single day.
What I got, and the +/- after the jump…
I’m not a huge fan of soup. I don’t *not* like soup… it’s just not at the top of my list of things to eat. It’s great on a cold or rainy day- but in general, I don’t really go to “soup” places. I’ve probably been to Hale & Hearty Soup twice, and both times got the soup and sandwich meal. After all, soup alone is no kind of lunch- unless it’s a big bowl of ramen. (Those soups are pretty sweet… but even they could still use some gyoza on the side.) Anyway, while the soups at Fashion Soup looked good enough, the fact that you could pair it with an empanada or 1/2 a quesadilla is what sold me on the place.
First the soups… then I’ll get to the other stuff. The menu consists of about 12 soups that are all home-made with fresh ingredients and change every single day. The lady behind the counter (the sister half of the duo) happily (and by happy I mean begrudgingly) informed me that all the soups were made fresh daily, all from fresh ingredients… no canned stocks or anything. For $3.75 to $7.50 you get a regular 12oz soup (the more expensive soups being the ones with seafood in them). A large 16oz soup will run you $6.50 to $9.50 (with the same sides) and the XL 32oz soups are too large to mention. Please- do not try to eat one of these on your own. Humans were not meant to eat that much soup, and it could be fatal. All soups ordered ala carte come with a piece of bread, cookie and fruit
Two of the soups are considered “Soups of the Day” and can be ordered as part of the “Value Meal”. The value meal consists of a 12oz cup of the soup of the day and an empanada or half a sandwich all for $5.50. For $5.95 you can get it with 1/2 a quesadilla. Clearly I needed the “Value Meal” which is both a value, and a meal. (Don’t get me wrong, fruit, bread and a cookie are delicious- but I’m all about the quesadillas & empanadas).
I decided to go with the Lentil Soup and 1/2 a quesadilla. The soup was hearty with a good peppery flavor. The quesadilla was surprisingly good (I’m pretty sure the owners are Eastern European… so I’m not sure where the quesadilla or empanada thing comes from). It was a thick quesadilla with what seemed like fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato and avocado, sandwiched between a thin, tasty tortilla. Not your typical quesadilla, but really good (especially if you like mozzarella, tomato and avocado).
For the sake of thoroughness (not because I’m a fat man who loves to over order), I decided to get a chicken empanada to try. These are the sacrifices I’m willing to make for you people! (Although my wife would probably say I was eating like this long before I started writing this blog…) Anyway, the empanada had a nice flaky crust, with a dry ground chicken filling- which I like. There’s also Ground Beef Empanadas, Beef & Mozzarella, Spinach & Mozzarella, and Broccoli & Cheddar. They range from $2.25 to $2.75 (or you can get it as part of the Value Meal).
All in all it’s a a great place for soup and non-soup lovers. If you love soups they’ve got tons of them, and the menu changes every day. And- the best part is, they post the daily list of soups every day on their website: http://www.fashionsoup.com. The day I was there, they had a Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella (supposedly the one soup that they have every day), Corn & Spinach, Potato and Leek Chowder, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Chicken w/ Barley & Corn, Italian Wedding Soup (I love mini meatballs!), Chicken w/ Corn & Spinach, New England Clam Chowder, and Creamy Crab and Shrimp w/ Spinach.
If you just “like” soup, but wouldn’t go somewhere for soup and soup alone- then the Value Meal is the way to go. Pair up one of their soups of the day with a delicious quesadilla or empanada… but try to eat them there if you can- they don’t do so well on the walk home. They have two counters with stools where you can enjoy your fashion soup, and there’s reading material to boot! (As long as you like Vogue…)
- All the soups are made daily using fresh ingredients
- Great variety. The list of soups change every single day.
- They have an updated menu of soups every day on their website… so you can check out what they’re serving before you leave the office
- Forget about soup and sandwich… go for the soup and empanada, or soup and 1/2 quesadilla
- Avocado in the quesadilla… hello delicious!
- Quick, easy and cheap
- Free fashion magazines to read while you eat
- The decor is pretty bare bones- so it doesn’t make for a particularly comfortable lunch with a co-worker. Best to take it to go… but the quesadillas, and empanadas don’t do to well on the walk back to the office
- If you do decide to stay, there aren’t very many stools to sit at (and no tables- just a counter, so it’s not recommended for more then two people unless you don’t care about looking at each other)
Fashion Soup Corp., 124 W. 41st. (btw. 6th & B’way), 212-704-0909