. Soup Tour Restaurant Review Seriously Soupy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Soup Tour Restaurant Review

Excited Soup Lovers in Front of Da Nico
Saturday, March 5th turned out to be a great day for a soup walking tour. Not only was the weather beautiful there were 20 excited soup lovers ready eager and hungry to test out three different soups from Chinatown, Little Italy and then on to Katz's for some Matzo Ball Soup. Although we never ended up at Katz's (more on that below) the tour was a really fun way to check out new restaurants, test new soups and make a few new friends along the way.

Seafood soup with hand-pulled noodles

Meat wontons with hand-pulled noodles
Hannah modeling the noodles
The tour started on a Doyers Street at Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, Inc in Chinatown. I heard about this place and their signature hand-pulled noodles (noodles that are literally stretched, twisted and finally cut and placed into broth) and thought this would be an exciting restaurant to try amidst a sea of restaurants in Chinatown. With over 25 soups and 7 different noodles to choose from we were all excited to test our vegetable and egg, tofu and vegetable, meat dumpling, seafood with shrimp, golden fish ball, squid, mussels, and beef soups (to name a few). There was also a tripe soup, which no one was brave enough to try and for good reason. When our steaming bowls of soup arrived I was surprised at the generous portion sizes as the rich smells took over the room. I tried the tofu and vegetable that was really completed with the addition of the long and yummy noodles. All around I heard the same sentiments and the group was really happy with the value and inexpensive price-point of the soups. My soup was $5.25 and the highest soup was about $7.00. Since we were off to a day of soup-eating most of use opted to save room for more stop and only eat half of our bowls.I could have easily finished this soup and hope to do so when I return to Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles (hopefully sooner than later)

Testing out soup at Da Nico
Pasta Fagioli from Da Nico
Stracciatella alla Romana from Da Nico
The Delicious and free Fritelle from Da Nico
Next, we were off to Little Italy for some minestrone soup. Now anyone that knows Little Italy instantly doesn't think of it as a place to find authentic Italian food in NYC. Being an ethnic food tour I heard that Da Nico served up some delicious minestrone soup and thought it was worth the toursity adventure - even if I got a little flack for it. The soup menu at Da Nico included Minestone Soup, Pasta Fagioli Canellini, Stracciatella alla Romana (spinach and egg soup), Canellini and Tortellini in Brodo Tortellini. I opted for the Pasta Fagioli with the majority of the soup lovers, including Kathy of The Experimental Gourmand, testing out the Stracciatella alla Romana. Since Pasta Fagioli is a favorite of mine I knew it could do no harm in my eyes and the version from Da Nico lived up to the test: perfectly cooked beans, curly pasta, and a light and creamy tomato broth topped with a heaping dose of parmasean cheese. As full as I thought I was from Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles I ended up finishing the whole thing, along with two pieces of bread that came with the soup. Kathy also enjoyed her Stracciatella alla Romana that she mentioned "benefited from a dusting of cheese to add a creamy, dairy bite to all the vegetables." After the soup, we were then given plates of pure deliciousness - fritelle with powdered sugar. No matter how full anyone was we couldn't pass on the free plates of fried dough - in fact, I had two pieces!

With our full soup (fried dough and bread) bellies we were off to Katz's. Some people left but about 10 of us were ready for more...or at least we thought. When we arrived at Katz's the place was packed.  Not sure if it was the combination of the crowds or us realizing we couldn't eat anymore but no one wanted to try their split pea, chicken noodle or matzo ball soup. I, too, was full and actually pretty happy not to eat anymore but I was hoping that one brave soup would try the delicious brothy Matzoh Ball soup, but instead we walked around for a bit and talked before finally ending the tour around Second Avenue.

Not only a day of eating, the soup tour through Explorecation.com was a great way to meet new people, try new soups and get excited for the next one: a spring soup and sandwich tour. Stay tuned for details.


  1. Yum!! Wondering its restaurant and colorful recipes . amazing your idea and nice look your group pics.beautiful your group and lovely smile on face . interesting recently post so thanks

  2. Ooh. Sorry I missed it, that was a hectic weekend.