Archive for July, 2005

Red Snapper Soup

The Soup Lady recently had the opportunity to partake of what the waiter referred to as "the best fish soup in the world." The scene was the Drake Bros. Restaurant located in the Drake Hotel in Chicago and the soup was Bookbinder Soup.

The soup was very delicious and the experience was made even more delightful when the waiter served a mini-carafe of an excellent cream sherry along side the bowl. He floated the sherry on top of the hot soup and the first spoonful was shocking and breath-taking.  The soup itself was rich without being greasy, dense without being stew-ish and savory without being salty. Overall rating: delightful.

In fact, The Soup Lady was so taken with it, that upon return home  the interweb was quickly pressed into service to look up the recipe. And that’s where it all went wrong. The waiter had called it a red snapper soup and because he said "fish soup", wouldn’t you assume that it was a soup made out of red snapper? Don’t be naive!

It turns out that this is  a famous creation from Bookbinder’s Restaurant in Philadelphia. You can buy it in cans or you can make your own from a recipe such as this one. Is it now painfuly obvious that everyone except the Soup Lady understands that the soup I enjoyed so much was a red soup made from a snapper (turtle), not a soup made from a red snapper (fish).

Now it may seem like a fine culinary  line to you, but eating fish is something I’m used to doing. Eating combative reptilian scavengers when you are expecting to eat fish is another thing entirely.

The Soup Lady does not like to be fooled. That is why you will never find discussion about magicians here – why would I pay good money to see a show by someone  who is out to fool me? I’m afraid I must throw the Drake Bros.’ waiter into this catagory now, too – a new personal catagory of mine called As Bad As A Magician.  If I ever say that you are As Bad As A Magician, cower! It is a grave insult.

It was very sneaky of him to call it Red  Snapper Soup instead of just Snapper Soup and downright dishonest to say that it was fish soup when clearly he knew it was not.  That’s probably how they unload the stuff everyday – otherwise they would be stuck with a potful of it at the end of serving hours. The reason that I am so put out by this is because it is a violation of the basic implied waiter/patron agreement – if one cannot trust the integrity of one’s waiter, then were does that leave one? It leaves one with egg on their face and turtle in their mouth, that’s where.

Now you are on your own with this – yes, it was an exteremely tasty soup but if knew before hand what it really was, I would never have ordered it. And I certainly will not ever have it again.

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