Soup's On (For Summer!)
Even the hot, rainy season can make you long for the ultimate comfort food. Here are some best bets.
Summer in Orlando and torrential rain… surprise! Even more inconvenient than an impenetrable storm is the illogical urge for soup when it’s cloudy, even in 95-degree heat. But if, like me, you must, I’ll make some suggestions.
* Caldo de mariscos, Bugambilias. A rich Mexican seafood soup with shrimp, fish, octopus and crab.
* Creole fish and langoustine chowder, Drunken Monkey. More than just a coffee bar, Drunken Monkey has a revolving soup menu that is worth waiting for a parking spot. Vegan truffle mushroom is another fave.
* Curry laksa, Hawkers Asian Street Fare. Possibly my favorite. Chewy egg noodles in a spicy coconut broth, with chicken, shrimp, fried tofu squares, hard-boiled egg, yow choy greens and fried shallots.
* Curried vegetable split pea, Houndstooth Sauce Company. Not just a sauce place, Houndstooth makes some fine sandwiches and this hearty soup.
* French onion, Café de France. The classic, done to its finest from slow-cooked onions to a bubbling crust of Gruyère gratiné.
* Mini hot pot, Noodles & Rice Café. We’ve died and gone to soup heaven. Eight different soup stocks, nine kinds of noodles (get yam, trust me) and so many proteins and veggies that I keep losing count.
* Noodle your own, Soupa Saiyan. The oddest place on the list, where soup, noodles and fixings meets Japanese anime cartoon decor. Try flank steak, udon and lobster tail with a side of Dragonball Z.
* Phở, Saigon Noodle & Grill. Guy Fieri made a stop at the Bumby location when he was in town this summer, but even if you’re not a fan of his, this is the place for beef noodle phở, or the duck-based bún măng vịt.
* Tomato Cheddar Cointreau, Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria. The choice of soup changes daily, the quality remains the same.
* Tonkotsu "pork bone” ramen, Seito Sushi. Still my standard bearer. Braised pork belly, Lake Meadows egg, house-made noodles in 24-hour-simmered pork broth.
- Poca’s Hottest, the hot sauce company created by Wendy Davis, now has a spot on Amazon, where you can order several of her spicy creations including Gargamel Cry Baby Sauce and Bacon Salt.
- Also available on Amazon is Wondermade’s line of gourmet marshmallows, Winter Park Honey, and vegan meat alternative mixes from Joe’s Oat Patties. Put together an Orlando gift box for out-of-town friends.
- There are also 97 eateries local to the 32801 ZIP code alone that deliver to your door via Amazon Restaurants, including Beth’s Burger Bar, Infusion Tea, Cecil’s BBQ, Audubon Park’s Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux and food truck maven George Markward’s Pastrami Project.