Hoboken soup and sandwich showdown
Today I take a look at three places in Hoboken and compare their “soup and sandwich” offerings. Taste and value will be the key factors in determining which wins the crown of “best” in town: The Original Soup Man, Panera Bread and The Turning Point.
Where is your favorite?
Read the comparisons after the jump!
(Hoboken Soup & Sandwich Showdown – Continued…)
The premise is simple. Pick three places that have advertised soup and sandwich offers. The first choice was easy: Soup Man. I picked Panera Bread because I saw the sign on the table a few weeks ago, and Turning point because of their new $10 deal.
Original Soup Man
The Original Soup Man has plenty of comments. Some folks think it’s over-priced and won’t last. Others enjoy their concoctions.
For my meal, I chose the Chicken Chili and a 1/2 chicken panini wrap. Their offer comes with a drink, a piece of bread, one fruit and a tiny chocolate. The drinks were not any choice (for instance, I’d have to add $1.50 for a Sobe drink, instead of one of their teas or a bottle of Aquafina water.) I chose the water. I was also up-sold when they were filling my soup bowl. “Want some cheddar cheese with that?” I can’t refuse some cheddar, so I paid the extra $0.25. Total cost: $11.82
Taste: I enjoyed the sandwich, while on the petite side, it was very flavorful. The soup was very chunky and a smidge spicy. The tiny piece of bread helped add to the filling nature of the meal. I didn’t eat the fruit or chocolate. Save them for later.
Overall, not a bad value at a tad under 12 bucks. The soup did repeat on me after about an hour, and made me question the quality of the spices used.
For some reason, I get the heebie jeebies in this place. Awkward layout, WAY too many strollers, and historically hit-or-miss on the meal quality. But the picture of the creamy tomato soup just piqued my interest and had to try it. Despite it being a “corporate chain,” they scored some bonus points today.
I got that, plus some kind of chicken sandwich again. The soup was extremely delicious (I have a thing for creamy tomato soup!) The sandwich didn’t get any negative points, but didn’t knock my socks off per se. I ate it a week ago, so my recollection is not so good. It also came with an apple or chips, and I chose the fruit again like a good boy. Beverage wasn’t included, only as an a la carte item. I went without. Total cost: $7.60.
About 4 bucks cheaper than Soup Man (but no drink.) Even though I’m not comparing exact soups, I liked Panera’s better. So weigh your options: Annoying establishment vs. tasty tomato soup. I guess I’ll have to peek in next time to decide whether it’s worth it.
On paper, Turning Point “News Cafe” (not the restaurant, but the front part of the establishment – the one open from 6am to 10pm) deal sounds the best: $10 bucks gets you a cup of soup, a WHOLE sandwich, as well as one of their desserts!
Since the Turning point isn’t a soup specialty shop, there were less soups to choose from. I recall a Carrot Ginger, Clam Chowder, and a soup of the day (which was a turkey vegetable.) I chose the Carrot Ginger, plus a turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread. A rice-krispie treat was the dessert.
I was a bit nervous about the soup, because if it’s not a tomato-based soup, I usually chose a more chunky style dish. Manly soups are more my preference. However, this soup really was delicious. Not overwhelmed by ginger, and just the right amount of cream added. It was also sprinkled with some mint, which I couldn’t detect. It was refreshing and easy on the palette. Will I order it again? Maybe, if the soup of the day doesn’t reel me in.
My sandwich choice was OK. I have to remember that I don’t really enjoy sliced turkey like that anymore. After having it nearly every day I was in school when I was a kid, I realized that I out-grew it. Still very good. It comes with chips and salsa which is a bonus. But next time, I’m picking a different sammy. There were about 7 sandwich choices.
Overall, the cost was $10 + tax. The best overall value of the three, and enough so that Turning point receives the award for “Best Soup & Sandwich Spot” in Hoboken! Wasn’t an easy choice, because I liked Panera’s soup better. But getting more for your money, better views, were the winning factors.
Give it a shot before they end the special $10 promotion.