The Boston Phoenix
January 20 - 27, 2000

[Food Reviews]

| by restaurant | by cuisine | by location | hot links | food home |
| dining out archive | on the cheap archive | noshing & sipping archive | uncorked archive |

Bowled over

New England Soup Factory

by Justine Kerr

The New England Soup Factory has three branches, but don't call it a chain -- this is no high-volume, low-taste operation. The people who run these eateries say they make their food from scratch every day, and it's true: we happened to visit the Back Bay branch near closing time one night, and they spent the last 15 minutes divvying up the day's remaining baked goods to the customers lucky enough to have stopped by at the right time.

Visit once, and it's almost certain you'll find a soup to come back for again and again. We became hooked on the lobster bisque, an especially hearty version that wasn't at all overwhelming, as cream-based soups can be. It costs $4.50 a bowl. And everything is available in quart containers, so you can take some home for lunch the next day. There's also an impressive selection of salads and noodle dishes; the Oriental-chicken-and-noodle entrée was among the best we tasted, if a little pricey at $8.25.

The one thing that left us slightly disappointed was the distinct scarcity of vegetarian soups. Soup is an easy thing to make without meat, but of the nine rotating varieties on offer, only one was vegetarian.

The newest New England Soup Factory, located at 855 Boylston Street (across from the Prudential Center), is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The other two branches are in Brookline Village and Newton.

The On the Cheap archive