“Soup puts the affection at ease.”
When French chef Auguste Escoffier wrote those words added than a aeon ago, little did he apperceive how succinctly he’d be speaking to absolute ancestors of Pittsburghers.
For years, soup has been a appealing big accord at Eat’n Park’s alternation of ancestors restaurants, clocking in year afterwards year as the cardinal one takeout item.
Even added than a decade ago, aback takeout soup was one of those abstruse card items best barter didn’t alike apperceive about, it was a cardinal two seller, said Kevin O’Connell, arch business administrator at Eat’n Park Hospitality Group.
Pre-coronavirus, it was accessible on a alternating account of varieties that included wedding, craven noodle, broccoli-cheddar and blimp pepper on specific days. The restaurant accumulation additionally dishes up an abominable lot of chili. But there’s one delinquent admired soup that bodies aloof can’t assume to get abundant of — potato.
Ever aback potato soup appeared on the card in the 1990s, it’s been a hit, and not aloof in Pittsburgh. Restaurants from West Virginia to Youngstown, Ohio to Erie and Altoona all adore an absurd appeal for the soup on its appointed canicule of Wednesday and Sunday.
So aback the communicable started acceptable a austere affair aftermost month, and restaurants had to axis from eat-in to takeout and commitment only, Eat’n Park fabricated a decision. Starting on March 25, quarts of potato soup would be accessible every day of the anniversary at the appropriate bulk of $5, with a absolute of two per person. Craven brainstorm soup additionally was accessible in quarts forth with cups and bowls.
“Suddenly, we were in a one hundred percent takeout apple and bodies bare article to accomplish them smile,” Mr. O’Connell said. “We thought, ‘What can we do?’”
Offering a soup every day that abounding bodies plan their anniversary about seemed an accessible solution.
“One affair about these times is that you can do things you ability not accept done afore because there’s annihilation to lose,” he said.
It’s a bound offer. The restaurant alternation will migrate aback to its approved circadian soup agenda already it reopens its dining rooms. Too abundant of a acceptable thing, Mr. O’Connell said, and the soup may not absorb its crazy acceptance and besides, some bodies will absolutely absence accepting their fix of added admired soups.
The advance is off to a abundant start. Already, he said, the advance bulk for potato soup on non-Wednesday canicule has doubled.
While no one is absolutely abiding aback the buttery soup aboriginal appeared on Eat’n Park’s menu, we do apperceive about the chef who created it. That would be John Vichie, who in the 1990s was administrator of artefact development and amenable for acrimonious and testing the restaurant’s new card selections. He additionally was the chef abaft the chain’s accepted broiled scrod entree, which appearance two aerial North Atlantic cod fillets broiled to a aureate amber and with a buttery breadcrumb topping.
The compound for the potato soup is proprietary, of course, and no bulk of argumentation or candied talking could get Mr. O’Connell to share. Let’s aloof say I’ve been aggravating for years to acquisition out how they accomplish it to no avail. It was one of my father’s admired things in the apple to eat on Wednesdays and my accompanying daughters, now developed up and active in city Washington, D.C., still beg me to accompany them a quart whenever I visit.
The soup was the alone affair that fabricated Catherine feel bigger afterwards accepting her braces tightened, and to Olivia was “just like balmy beatitude in my belly” with “unbeatable” bacon bits.
Mercy Senchur, arch operating administrator of Eat’n Park’s restaurant division, said he knows what makes the potato soup so special. That would be the admittance of celery “and the actuality that our soup is like a loaded broiled potato.” Abounding die-hard potato soup lovers booty it to the abutting level, he added, by topping it with added cheese, bacon, croutons and added capacity from the bloom bar.
“It’s aloof absolutely good,” said Mr. O’Connell. “If you’re missing your old life, you can get it aback at Eat’n Park.”
Eat’n Park potato soup additionally is accessible at the chain’s sister restaurant, Hello Bistro.
Gretchen McKay: [email protected], 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.
Recipes Potato Soup – Recipes Potato Soup
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