I've been watching all sorts of "______ and Barley" go by at the Tyson's Corner Original Soupman
. Chicken and Barley, Crab and Barley, Shrimp and Barley, Veal and Barley, Tofu and Barley, Giblets and Barley, etc., etc. -- but today they finally had Beef and Barley, so I broke down and gave the place a try.
All I can say is, they've got a lot of nerve to charge that kind of money, for that kind of soup. I'm not a foodie, but I am enough of an aesthete to know good food when I see it, and this isn't it. A can of Campbell's Chunky would provide as good or better an experience, at 1/10 the price. Adding a banana, a flavorless (and effectively crustless) bit of french bread, and a Hershey's Kiss to the tray does not justify $7.50 for a cup of extremely mediocre soup. Especially considering the endless hype and looped CNN footage of people raving about how they've transcended soup and made art. For all my bagging on Panera, they do at least have very good soup and real bread -- at half the price "Original Soupman" is charging. I guess he has to pay royalties on all that "Sienfeld" footage.
So my advice is, when confronted with The Original Soupman, just say "No money for you!" Then head over to Panera and get a cup of the chicken w/ wild rice. Now that's