COMMUNITY • BY MORGAN FECTO
Since Soupergirl opened a storefront nearly two years ago, its ever-changing menu of vegan and kosher soups has rotated each week, and it has acquired more space for its kitchen. But the soup shop’s credo has remained constant: food must be fresh, local, and good.
“I know all of our farmers by name,” said owner Sara Polon. “We’re not going to cheat with our food.”
Although Soupergirl offers three different soups each week based on what produce is locally available, it has much more to offer than a typical soup café.
“I come here for a change of pace,” said customer Myriam Weisberg. “I like the seasonal foods, and knowing that the vegetables don’t come from South America or something,”
In late February of this year, Soupergirl took over Mayorga Coffee’s old site, 314 Carroll St., Northwest DC, and turned it into a larger dining area. The store’s old location, right next door, is now a much larger kitchen, allowing Soupergirl to nix its old self-service model.
“We take care of the work now,” said Polon, who likes staff-service at her restaurant because it makes for “better quality control” of the food.
Polon said that the shop’s atmosphere has also improved with the change.
“It’s cozy and quiet and peaceful now,” said Polon.
The food at Soupergirl, however, is still the biggest draw for customers.
“The sweet potato was aromatic and flavorful, and had a little bit of bite to it,” said Mark Slobodien, who said he tried Soupergirl after going vegetarian. He got the sweet-potato soup to-go for his dinner, and at the same time he ordered creole rice and bean soup for his lunch.
“They were both delicious,” said Slobodien.
Weisberg also said that Soupergirl’s food is tasty, and that it appeals to her because she keeps kosher and wants to be environmentally conscious. While Soupergirl’s food makes it easy for customers with dietary restrictions to enjoy what they eat, customers without restrictions love it too.
“I am a carnivore,” said customer Leslie Gibbons. “But I don’t miss the meat. I got the creole rice and bean because it’s filling.”
The eatery satisfies a craving for something hot and hearty with its soups, and even when the weather turns warmer it still churns out comfort food.
“The gazpacho is amazing,” said Weisberg. “The peach is especially good.”
Polon said that one of the challenges to the changing weather is that the best produce for gazpacho is not always available locally by spring time, forcing Soupergirl to wait for summer before it debuts its cold soups.
“In the summer, I eat a gallon of watermelon gazpacho a week,” said Polon. “But in the winter, if you give me pumpkin then I’m going to eat it.”
Soupergirl sells its products in eight different supermarkets, the closest one in Chevy Chase, and delivers soups to customers who order online to designated pick-up areas in Maryland, DC, and Virginia.
The options at Soupergirl are plentiful and healthful, so much so that even the owner is a proud customer.
“I eat our products seven days a week and I have never been in better shape,” said Polon.