Jan 9, 2017
Alphabet Soup: An A to Z Guide to Brooklyn’s Best Bowls
No matter that we’ve donned thin fall jackets through the majority of December; January’s first major snowfall officially ushers in soup season. And since Brooklyn boasts seemingly endless options for scoring a top notch bowl, we’ve compiled an A to Z guide to the boroughs best bisques, gumbos and phos—including All Hands elegant skate chowder, and Zaytoons hearty vegetarian lentil.
All Hands: Instead of clams, this local shellfish-focused newcomer swaps frilled bits of flaky, sustainable skate wing in its chowder, simmered with bacon and lovage and garnished with popcorn.
Brooklyn Commune: Order a cup of chickpea and pork stew, tomato bisque, or classic chicken and vegetable, to go with your TLT (tempeh, lettuce and tomato sandwich).
Chuko: Now that they’ve moved into Bar Chuko’s plus-sized space, it’s even easier to get your hands on soy, miso, kimchi, chicken bone or pork bone ramen, afloat with mustard greens, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo, and a soft-boiled, orange-yolked egg.
Dotory: Their delicate dumpling soup (comprised of dashi broth, bok choy, bean sprouts, long beans and wood ear mushrooms), puts the pints of wonton at your corner Chinese takeout to shame.
Endless Summer Sandwich: You’ll generally find soup in the mix (like chicken chili bean or corn chowder) at dedicated sandwich spots such as Endless Summer.
Frankie’s 457: Frankie’s rustic Italian soups are as hearty as their sandwiches and salads—think lentils and smoked bacon and escarole and Cannellini bean.
Good Stock: The West Elm Market pop-up dedicates a percentage of sales of soups like fried chicken gumbo, ribollita, and Portuguese kale to Edible Schoolyard NYC.
Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House: Located in the heart of newly Chinese Bensonhurst, this slim shop specializes in tumbles of chewy, hand-stretched noodles incorporated in almost 30 soup variations, from beef stew to spare rib to shrimp wonton.
Insa: The twin draws at Insa may be karaoke and Korean BBQ, but don’t sleep on the authentic soups, including Seollongtang (beef bone broth with tendon and daikon), and Tteok Mandu Guk, rice cakes and dumplings in beef broth.
Junior’s: It’s all about matzoh balls at circa-1950’s Junior’s. Just save room for a slice of their justly famous cheesecake.
Karczma: The standout here (amongst numerous soups) is the white borscht in a bread bowl, made with soured flour, kielbasa and spices, topped with a hard-boiled egg, and served with bacon-studded mashed potatoes on the side.
Lincoln Station: Al Di La and Bar Corvo’s low key little sibling serves all-day eats like sandwiches and soup, such as lamb chili and chicken vegetable.
Mesa Coyoacan: Housemade tortillas accompany Mesa Coyoacan’s brick-red pozole, the buzzy chile broth brimming with braised pork and toothsome pearls of hominy.
Nightingale 9: Soups comprise practically a third of the menu at Rob Newton’s Vietnamese-inspired Nightingale 9. Choices include beef pho with slow cooked brisket and bun bo hue—a muddle of rice noodles, pork cheeks, shrimp paste, and napa cabbage.
Olivier Bistro: For a soup that eats like a meal, look no further than traditional French onion. It’s a crock of wine and allium-enriched beef broth thickened with toasted baguette, and coffined with a burnished cap of gruyere cheese.
Polonica: A Bay Ridge staple for 26 years, this husband and wife-owned stalwart serves homey Polish staples like sour rye soup, beef tripe soup, pickle soup, or beetroot-based borscht. It’s served with a meat-stuffed croquette.
Qathra: Cortelyou Road’s Egyptian-tinged café transitions from cortados in the morning to mushroom barley, Caribbean chicken, and creamy vegan vegetable soup (thickened with almond milk) in the afternoon.
Runner & Stone: Forget grilled cheese. Runner & Stone’s out-of-bounds bread is the only companion you need for tomato soup, finished with salty curls of grana padano.
Soup Bowl: Park Slope’s Soup Bowl trades places with Louie G’s every winter. It doles out up to 15 different options (caramelized brussels sprout, Japanese pumpkin with corn, smoked sausage with yellow split pea), from its pop-up storefront.
Tekoa: Though Tekoa offers dinner service as well, it’s considerably more relaxed than its next-door progenitor, La Vara, a place to while away the day with a laptop or stroller, and a bowl of butternut squash or minestrone soup.
Under the Tuscan Gun: Debi Mazar and hubby are behind this Windsor Terrace café (and sometime dinner party spot), serving Central Italian soups like zuppa di carote and pasta e fagioli.
V Spot: This mini franchise offers entirely vegan eats with Latin American flair. Think lentil soup with fresh avocado, garden vegetables, and rice.
Walter’s: Their spicy fisherman’s stew makes a perfectly acceptable dinner, featuring crab, mussels, and shrimp in a shellfish broth, that can be sopped up with sourdough bread.
Xi’an Famous Foods: Enjoy Xi’an’s infamous hand-ripped noodles deposited in Silk Road-influenced soups, along with spicy cumin lamb, stewed oxtail, spicy and tingly beef, or Mount Qi vegetables.
Yaso Tangbao: The soup actually lives inside the dumplings at this xiao long bao specialist. Nibble a hole through steamy dough packages with your teeth, then quickly suck out the broth, crafted from gelatinized pork bones.
Zaytoons: Pita bread is an ideal vehicle for slurping remnants of Zaytoon’s housemade (and fully vegetarian) lentil soup.
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