By: Esther Stern | Opinions  | 

Sipping and Slurping Without the Settling

Chicken soup is for everyone: everyone who has pregamed too heavily last night, everyone who finds themselves in the beit midrash till ungodly hours of the night and everyone else. After all, nothing warms the belly quite like scoring “adulting” points for taking care of yourself like ordering yourself a plastic, quart-sized container of chicken soup. In that case, both I and your mother couldn’t be more proud of you. And if at this point you find yourself in the unfortunate majority of students on the Beren and Wilf campuses that don’t know where to look for quality chicken soup that tastes like mom’s, I’m talking to you. As a self-proclaimed arbiter of good soup, allow me to open your eyes to the quality options available in the Washington Heights and Murray Hill communities.

First, on the list of quality local chicken soups is the one found at Burgers and Grill in the Heights. It is the kind of soup that I can only imagine was crafted by a Yemenite grandmother; the kind that, when accompanied by arak, she’d swear would cure you of absolutely anything. It tastes of chicken with copious amounts of bell pepper added, and a flavor you cannot seem to place which is the cumin. The kicker to this soup is the rice and beans, which you have to ask them to add. Pro tip: ask away. It comes with a side of grilled pita, making this soup everything you didn’t realize you wanted. Arak optional.

For those who reside in midtown, don’t fret! There are tantalizing options for you as well, starting with Mendy’s chicken gumbo. It’s a pleasant, viscous and filling soup with a flavorful base. In this non-newtonian suspension, live chunks of familiar soup fare, allowing for an incredibly strong eating experience. Another pro tip — ditch the Stern salad social scene and take the gumbo to go: sweatpants are the perfect pairing to this hearty soup.

Also serving soup in midtown is Paprika, whose chicken soup is available so infrequently it might as well be a speakeasy. You’re sure to earn real street creds for knowing that this delicacy is even offered there. If you do happen to go on the fortnight when they happen to be serving up the soup, you’d taste mellowed, stewed notes. It’s a no frills dish, consisting only of chicken and the works, but its appeal lies in the comforting familiarity of the experience. I’m no posek, but this soup is something that I would feel comfortable saying Hallel with a bracha, after consuming. It is an entity that can best be described as the overnight kugel equivalent to chicken soup, it’s divine. The quality soup options listed, that are at our disposal are certainly worthwhile, give the chicken soups a chance — you can thank me later.

Photo Caption: Chicken Soup