Monday, June 06, 2016

SF Soup Company

SF Soup Company is a San Francisco based chain, started in 1999.  They have 10+ locations in San Francisco, mostly in the FiDi, as well as a handful throughout the peninsula.  As you may have guessed, they specialize in soups, but also make salads and sandwiches to go alongside.  A few of the locations also offer breakfast.

I've walked by several of the more prominent locations, in the Westfield Mall and the Metreon, many, many times.  But, soup, salads, and sandwiches aren't really my go to items.  Of course, samples are though, and often times when you walk by one of their restaurants, they are out front hawking soup or salad samples.  So, even though not a destination I'd really seek out, I've tried a number of their items over the years.

The Space


Premade Sandwiches, Soups.
Soups and sandwiches are pre-made.  They make something like 40 different soups, which rotate daily.  Even when not out front hawking soup samples, they are happy to let you sample any flavor before purchase.  Soups are served for you, in a regular or bread bowl.

Sandwiches are mostly half sandwiches, and aren't anything unexpected, your basic turkey, roast beef, tuna, and egg salad are available.  Perhaps the most interesting is the hummus wrap?  Sandwiches are clearly not the focus, but, an item added to the menu because customers don't just want soup.  They are pre-made and easy to grab and go.
Salad Making Station.
Salads are made to order.  They offer up some suggested recipes, but you can also create your own custom tossed salads.

The Food

I've tried many samples, but only stopped to purchase soup one day, when Ojan wasn't feeling well, and I wanted to bring him something comforting.
Sourdough Bread.
Soup comes with a choice of sourdough bread (a baguette chunk) or wheat roll.  I didn't want either, but Ojan opted for the sourdough.  The chunks were all a generous size, assorted pieces, including ends as he selected, or middle slices with less crust.

The bread looked fresh enough, soft and fluffy, but since I loathe sourdough, I didn't bother try it.  Ojan said it was "too sour", and only ate a few bites.  Sourdough that is ... too sour?

Soup

As I mentioned, they offer a slew of soups, and the varieties offered at any given location rotate daily.  You can check the soup schedule online.
Grandma Mary's Chicken Soup. $xx.xx
"A flavorful, soothing broth full of chunks of hand pulled Chicken, Parsnips, Carrots, Celery and Egg Noodles finished with fresh Dill. Just like Grandma Mary used to make it. "

This was for Ojan, when he was not feeling well.  I tasted the broth.  It was decently seasoned, nicely salty.  It seemed like the right sort of thing for a sick person ... if I liked soup.

The egg noodles were actually optional, and were added in by the person serving the soup.  I'm sure the gluten-free or low carb folks appreciate this.

The soup did look decent, loaded up with generous chunks of vegetable and tons of chicken.  Ojan said it was ok, appropriate for being sick.

On other walk-bys, I tried the following:

  • New England Clam Chowder: “A thick, rich and creamy traditional recipe loaded with Clams from the North Atlantic and Red Skinned Potatoes. “  Tasting notes: Awful!  Fairly nasty flavor in the base, really fishy, not creamy. Clams really chewy. This was really not good.
  • Organic tomato bisque: “A luscious, silky, Organic Tomato and Sweet Cream soup.”  Tasting notes:  Not flavorful at all. Canned tomato soup is better.
  • Organic Southwestern Corn Chowder: “A delectable blend of Roasted Corn, Red Bell Peppers and Red Skinned Potatoes simmered with Ancho, New Mexico and Chipotle Chiles. “  Tasting notes: Not bad.  Creamy, nice corn flavor, big chunks of not overcooked potato. It was a bit spicy, but the potatoes were overwhelming and mushy.
  • Cream of Exotic Mushroom: “A rich, thick, pureed mushroom soup with Crimini, Oyster, Porcini, and White Mushrooms finished with a splash of Cream. “ Tasting notes: not much mushroom flavor, not very good.

Salads

Salads are available in several pre-designed recipes for entree or side salads, or you can pick your own ingredients and they are mixed to order. I haven't ever ordered a salad, but Ii've tried a few samples. Interestingly, the salads have been my favorite items.
Cranberry Kale Salad.

"Tender massaged kale with tri-colored quinoa, dried cranberries & feta cheese with meyer lemon vinaigrette." 


This salad was entirely ruined by the vinaigrette.  It was way, way too tangy.  The kale was fresh and crisp though, and I did like the quinoa, but I don't really like dried cranberries or feta, so, not much for me here, and that dressing ... ugh.

Others:
  • Grilled Chicken Chipotle Salad: “Organic Mixed Greens, Grilled Chicken Breast, Roasted Corn, Jicama, Black Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado, Cheddar Cheese, Organic Blue Corn Tortilla with creamy chipotle dressing”. Tasting notes: This was surprisingly good. Fairly fresh greens, nice ingredients, zesty dressing.  Cheddar cheese was generic shredded stuff though. 
  • Asian Chicken Salad: “Organic Mixed Greens, Grilled Chicken Breast, Shredded Carrots, Edamame, Shredded Cabbage, Crispy Wonton, with Sesame Miso Dressing.” Tasting notes: This was tasty! Fresh greens, nice crunch from the crispy wontons, tender edamame. The sesame miso dressing was delicious, and it wasn’t over dressed. 
  • Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salad: “Organic Romaine, Grilled Chicken Breast, Foccacia Croutons, Shredded Parmesan Cheese.” Tasting notes: Another pleasant surprise. The lettuce was crispy and about as good as you can hope for romaine. The dressing was zesty. The parmesan was a fairly sharp flavor, in big shreds. The croutons were a nice crunch, not stale tasting. Overall, pretty decent, although the dressing was the weakest component, not all that indistinguishable from any generic dressing from a bottle.

Breakfast

Several locations offer breakfast. The menu is simple, just oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and frittata sandwiches. I tried the oatmeal once when, as you might be able to guess now, they were giving out samples.
    • Brown Sugar and Raisins: "Organic Steel Cut Oats simmered and stirred with just a dash of Brown Sugar and hint of Cinnamon and Vanilla. " Tasting Notes: I had this as a sample, so it was lukewarm, but the oatmeal was actually pretty nice and creamy.  Not gloopy.  They had topped it with way too much brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and some plump raisins.  Not bad, actually.
    • Fruit and Granola: This item has been discontinued. Tasting Notes: I had this as another sample. Again, not a bad consistency. Definitely no bad mushy, gloopy, oatmeal here.  The fruit was sweet and nice, more like a compote than fresh fruit though.  Granola on top of oatmeal was a little strange, I liked the crunch, but it was a bit odd.
San Francisco Soup Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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