New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Come Back, Soup Man!

Today is the first of February and Al's International Soup Kitchen still hasn't opened. I'm getting concerned that it won't open at all this winter. Taking a trip to Al's for lunch is a wintertime ritual for me, and I desperately miss his delicious soups, which come with fruit, bread, and a treat. His bisques are divine. People rave about the lobster bisque but you can't go wrong with any of them. The vegetarian lentil soup is one of my favorites. His turkey chili has a great kick, just right on a cold day. And Jenn is a fan of the chicken vegetable.

We just walked by his shop at 55th Street and Eighth Avenue and it's still bereft of any soup-making activity. There's a sign (a paper bag, really) posted on the window that says "will post on internet one week before opening." You better believe I've been logging on to www.therealsoupman.com but sadly there's no opening date posted. Winter is half over!

Of course I'm talking about Al Yeganeh, the owner of the best soup shop in the city and the inspiration for a Seineld episode ("no soup for you") that coined an unkind name for him. And it's true that he has some basic rules to follow, but when you're waiting in line behind some idiot who has to make a joke at the counter, or hasn't bothered to think about what he wants beforehand, it's great to see him get turned away, soupless.

Al is a good man and a great soup chef. He has always done right by me, and I miss him. There are stories about his plans to franchise across the country, but that doesn't help me now. This is soup weather, Al, and I'm your biggest fan. I always have my money ready. I always move to the extreme left of the line after I order. I'm an example to all other soup customers. Why have you forsaken me? Come back to 55th Street, Al! We need you to get through the cold New York winter.

Now I will eat my turkey sandwich. A fine turkey sandwich made by our friends at the JY Deli on Eighth Avenue, but same as the last turkey sandwich, and same as the next.

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