Monday, March 3, 2014

All Souped Up

Soupfest is an annual event that I really enjoy.  Restaurants from all over the region gather to offer up samples of their soups for us to taste and we decide among ourselves which soup is the best.  There are official judges too, and they also make their own choices. It's interesting because they don't always pick the same soups as the people do.  The official judges may know about when some especially innovated combination has been put together, but we, the people, just know what we like. To me winning the people's choice awards are actually more valuable. It's the general public that the restaurants have to please, or they won't come back.  The chefs can get as fancy as they like, and that that may impress the official judges, but if the people don't like what is being offered, they aren't going to buy it.

There is a certain establishment in Smiths Falls where I often go for soup.  You never know, when you walk through the door, of the Good Life Bistro what their soup that day will be, but I can tell you that I've never had a bad one there.  I mentioned to them recently that they should get in on Soupfest. They had never heard of it, but looked it up on the internet while I had my lunch, and by the time we were ready to leave, I was told they had managed to sign up.  And this weekend they not only discovered how much fun the experience can be, they won first place for one of the categories with their Squash Pear Bisque with maple cinnamon cream.

Another restaurant, The New Rideau near Kemptville, had only just opened under new management three weeks ago. They placed in two categories with a Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cheddar soup, so now I'm interested in going there for lunch some day too.

Soupfest is good for getting new customers for businesses some didn't know existed.  We were first introduced to the Basket Case in Morrisburg though their participation in Soupfest.  We've been there several times since then, and highly recommend it.  They were not present at the event this year though, and I missed those fun filled ladies.

One of our local businesses did very well too. The Goose and Gridiron in Merrickville put forth a very colourful Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup.  If that soup is on their menu, I'll be dropping in there more often in the future.  I had a hard time deciding if I was going to choose it for my second or third place vote. In the end, it came in third, both for me and the rest of the public, but placed first with the official judges.

My personal favorite of the day was the Silken Scallop with Crisp Pancetta by the Black Dog Bistro in Manotick.  My nine year old grandson agreed with that choice, and even went back for more.

"Thrillusionist," Michael Bourada was on hand to entertain this year, and he worked the room, one table at a time. Of course, when he got to us, he zeroed in on the only child at the table.  It was such fun to watch them interact.

This was the first year we have taken one of the grandsons with us. I told him he was going to get to taste all the soups, and he didn't have to like them, just judge them. He gave them scores from one to ten, and was far more adventurous than I expected.  I think he only missed 3 or 4 of the 16 offerings, and that was likely because he was full by then.  Oh, but not too full for the great big chocolate covered rice crispy square he picked for dessert.  He already has told us he wants to come with us again next year.  I'm looking forward to that already.



No comments:

Post a Comment