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DINING: Variety admirable at soup seller

Zoup!

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Dining - A&E
Chicken Potpie soup at Zoup! in Carml At Zoup!, you may spend as much time choosing as you do eating. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

When lunching at Zoup! (1430 W. Carmel Drive, 810-9800), count on spending more time than you might expect staring at the menu before placing your order at the counter. Patrons have a dozen soups to choose from and a smattering of sandwiches and salads. And there’s a friendly server standing at the soup vats, ladle in hand, offering samples of any or all of the concoctions before customers place an order.

And since 10 of the soups change daily, even seasoned customers may slow down in order to weigh the potential pleasures of, say, Chicken with Roasted Garlic versus Frontier 7 Bean or Pumpkin Pie Bisque.

Making its first foray into the Indianapolis market, the Michigan-based order-and-sit eatery does hold a few constants: There’s always Chicken Potpie soup ($4.25) and Lobster Bisque ($4.75) on the menu. Both seem worthy of a regular spot, though they’re a little pricy for an eight-ounce portion.

The Chicken Potpie was thick with chunky chicken and topped with crumbled pie crust with a bit too much salt in the mix. The buttery Lobster Bisque is billed as having a hint of cayenne pepper and sherry, but the hint didn’t seem to make it to the taste buds—the bisque was tasty enough but lacked flair.

A watery Turkey Chili ($3.25) was even less successful, crying out for some

kick. You can double up on soups for $8, or pair with a half sandwich or salad. We would have tried a fourth variety, but our order was mixed up and we ended up with two of the same. I’m sure it would have been replaced if we had realized the problem sooner.

Sandwiches had nice crunch when housed on ciabatta bread but, again, the price was a little high. Turkey Club ($4.50/$6.75), featured flavorful hickory smoked bacon, tomato and Swiss (and a tad too much mayo). Chicken Toscana ($4.50/$6.75) included roasted red peppers, marinated red onions, provolone and a flavorful basil mayo. Salad offerings ($4.50/$6.75) include Asian, Greek and American Farm (with mozzarella and grape tomatoes).

But it’s the variety of soups that’s the big selling point. And it seems a downtown location would fill a niche among workers who like some variety in their familiar and comfortable lunch options.•
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Last in a month-long series of looks at new north-side restaurants. 
 

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  • SOUP DUPED
    ALl of their soups come frozen in a bag made off site in an industrial kitchen a few states away. Why can't someone open a place that makes true home made soups???!!! SOUP BOX in Chicago is amazing and switches over in the summer months to ICE BOX serving...Ice cream!!! GENIUS

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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