Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Great Queens Soup Search

For the past few days, two of the most e-mailed articles on the New York Times Web site have been about sex and soup. Sure, this could just be our way of reverting back to the simpler things in life, given the economy – but I like to think it’s something else. Sex has always received its due reward in our society – but soup – not so much.

Think about it. Soup has powers of permutation unlike any other food shy of potatoes or tomatoes. You can eat it cold, hot, from a shot glass or a colossal bowl, thick and chunky or pureed, diluted or buttery and lush. And what other food grants you permission to recklessly combine potatoes, cheese and bacon? Enough said.

As a Queens native and now Brooklyn resident, I have had many, many good soups in my new borough..not so many in my original borough. But I’m determined to change that. Without further ado, here is my first attempt at trying every great soup in Queens. I welcome any and all suggestions or comments.

Tuesday, Nov. 25
Donovan’s of Bayside
214-16 41st Ave.
(718) 423-5353
Soup: Lentil

Brian, my foodie co-worker, has been raving about Donovan’s Split Pea Soup. It was my first trip to the popular restaurant and bar and, based solely on the d├ęcor (which resembles the townhouse Great Room of my pretentious dreams), I fell instantly in love. I had high hopes, but since it was raining, windy and downright glacial, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to find that Donovan’s did the sensible thing and replaced its fragile Split Pea with a hearty, reliable and –sorry – humdrum Lentil Soup option.

The good news: Everyone is spot on about the fresh food at Donovan’s. The lentils were cooked very well and had a creamy, slightly crisp texture. Generous chunks of firm, sweet carrots were a delightful compliment.

The not-so-good news: Eh. I couldn’t put my finger on what my soup was lacking. I knew it wasn’t something major, but it was something. Then, I committed a dining sin and sprinkled just a dash of salt and pepper into my soup – which, sadly, made a big difference.

Overall verdict: I will definitely return to Donovan’s and try other soups. As for the Lentil – it needed red pepper, salt, pepper, celery, cumin, coriander – something – added to the mix to help animate its fresh flavors.


Brian M. Rafferty, Queens Tribune said...

I was never as impressed with this Donovan's as I am by the one in Woodside. However, I still vouch for the split pea. For three bucks, and with chunky croutons it's a great lunch bargain and quite tasty and filling, to boot.

NFP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NFP said...

Soup or Sex?
A woman, completely fed up with her husbands online obsession finally takes matter into her own hands. One night as he is sitting at the computer, she goes into the bedroom, takes off all her clothes, puts on a full length fur coat and she posts herself between her husband and his monitor. She pulls open the jacket and yells, "Time for Super Sex"!!!!!.
He ignores her. So, she repeatedly yells, "Super Sex" "Super Sex" "Super Sex".
Finally, he replies, "Ok, I'll take the soup."