Archive for the ‘Poor’ Category

Au Bon Pain - Miami, FL

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


Seriously, what did you expect?

Rating 2.5 out of 10

Turtle Jack’s - Guelph, Ontario

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


 As you can see from the picture, the cheese is grossly misconfigured, which is a shame, because it was of good quality and the broth was okay too.

Rating 5.0 out of 10

Cowboys BBQ and Steak Co. - Orlando, FL

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


Very unimpressive.  The broth was weak and cheese was really bland.  If you’re looking for o-soup at a cheap price, you might want to try this place, but you get what you pay for.

Rating 3.5 out of 10

The Georgian - Seattle, WA

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


We all know that the “traditional” cheese for French Onion Soup is Gruyere.  However, I’ve rated highly some soups that depart from the traditional route and have added some adventure to the mix.  I’ve really enjoyed soups with comté, jarlsberg, fontina, and a few others.  Typically, soups with provalone, mozzarella, or cheaper swiss gets a “pedestrian” rating from me, as these are not adventurous at all; they’re just a cheap cop-out.

What we have here at The Georgian (located in the Fairmont Olympic hotel in Seattle) is certainly not a cheap cop-out.  It may be the most expensive of the cheese adventures I’ve come across in onion soup. The problem is that it is horrible! I can’t imagine why someone would come up with the idea of putting blue cheese in French Onion Soup.  Being a turophile, I’ve enjoyed my share of blue cheese.  But this combination is simply ill-advised.  What made it worse was that you could tell that the broth was outstanding!  They must have spent hours caramelizing the onions and making the broth just right, only to have the taste completely overwhelmed by blue cheese.

This is a fancy restaurant, with plenty of charm.  I think they tried to get too fancy with this soup.  I always say, “Any French Onion Soup is better than no onion soup,” and I even order some of the bad ones from here if I find myself at those restaurants.  But there’s no way I would ever have this soup again!

Rating: 0.5 out of 10

The Oaks Restaurant - Houston, TX

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012


This restaurant is located in The Rotary House International, which is a hotel on the campus of MD Anderson.  The soup is not very good, but I wasn’t expecting much, considering the venue.  Very little, cheap cheese, with a flavorless broth.

Rating 5.0 out of 10

Trump SoHo Room Service - New York, NY

Thursday, October 13th, 2011


Another pastry puff entry.  If there was cheese in this soup, I couldn’t find it.

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

Land Ocean New American Steakhouse - Folsom, CA

Thursday, June 16th, 2011


Not much good to say about this one.  The looks of the place made us very optimistic, but the soup certainly did disappoint.

Rating: 4.5 out of 10

Tres - Beverly Hills, CA

Sunday, August 1st, 2010


I had no idea what to expect when I read the menu at this place.  It said, “non-classic onion soup, with cheese and a slow-cooked egg.”  What was brought to me was the bowl you see above, with a poached egg, and 2 or 3 tiny shards of cheese from a grater.  On top of this was poured some onion soup broth with much fanfare.  This is apparently an invention of master chef José Andrés.  It is visually appalling, and unfortunately tastes not much better than it looks.  Although they seem quite proud of the presentation, it is certainly not helped by the fact that the bowl looks like a commode.  I would say that this theme continues in every aspect of this dish.

Rating: 1.0 out of 10

Maximilien - Seattle, WA

Saturday, May 15th, 2010


Nothing good to say about this one.  Broth was very salty, and tasted like it was out of a can.  Cheese was sparse.

Rating: 3.5 out of 10

Garden State Diner - Elizabeth, NJ

Friday, April 9th, 2010


I’ve been searching for a soup that falls into this category for years: one that is available in the terminal of an airport.  This place is located in terminal C of the Newark Liberty International Airport.  I’ve always been very strict about soups that are ineligible for rating on this blog.  In particular, if the restaurant does not serve soup as a regular item on the menu, I will not rate it.  If the restaurant is not generally open to the public, I will not rate it.  There was a question in my mind as to whether or not this is an eligible soup.  Since it is “airside”, that is, you must pass through security to eat it, is it generally open to the public?  I was leaning towards not reviewing it.  In fact, I’ve decided not to…just kidding.  Actually, if you really want to have this soup and not get on a plane, it is still possible.  It’s simple: just by a refundable ticket for a flight.  That will get you through security, and then when you’re done, ask for a refund.  Fortunately, this is in Continental’s terminal, and they are very quick with crediting refunds back to your credit card.  Just make sure that you don’t do it too close to departure time for the flight you are on.  There is some cutoff where it is too late to get a refund.  I think it is 1 hour before the flight.  Oh, the soup.  It is pretty awful.  Completely tasteless mozzarella cheese, and broth probably from a can.

Rating 3.5 out of 10

Restaurant Le Beaujolais - Banff, AB, Canada

Sunday, September 13th, 2009


My friend Andrew and I were lured into this restaurant by a “barker” woman standing at the entrance.  Her whole presentation was based upon the fact that “the onion soup is to die for”.  Well, noting that some of my previous tastings that featured comté were very good, it was worth a try.  Well, not really.  The broth was bland and the cheese was gross.

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

Belgo Brasserie - Calgary, AB, Canada

Friday, September 11th, 2009


This is the third F.O.S. I’ve reviewed with a “puff pastry” on top (see Papillon and Christine Lee’s).  While I considered the others to be unique and still decent, this one does not “hold up” (in more ways than one).  The pastry was as good as the others, but there was no cheese to be found, at all.  I believe I could taste the remnants of cheese in the broth itself, but with nothing there to keep it on top of the soup, it was invisible.  So, rather than saying there was no cheese, I guess I’ll say that there was no cheese texture, and that by itself is unforgivable.

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

Ringside Steakhouse - Portland, OR

Sunday, September 6th, 2009


Nice presentation, via the brass bowl right out of the oven.  However, the bowl is tiny, the cheese is extremely mild and hopelessly stuck to the bread.  The broth is also bland.  The cheese was so mild that I didn’t really believe it was gruyere.  I asked the server what it was, and he said, “provolone”.  I pointed out to him that the menu said gruyere.  He went back to the chef, and he still claimed gruyere.  In any case, not a stellar showing for this high end, highly rated steakhouse.

Rating: 4.0 out of 10

Jay Berry’s Cafe - Renton, WA

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009


Well, there’s not much good to say about this one.  The menu said it would have melted mozzarella cheese, and if I searched hard, I could find *something* that might have been mozzarella.

Rating: 2.5 out of 10

Jason’s Deli - Pembroke Pines, FL

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008


To start with, this may be the strangest presentation I’ve ever seen.  It was served with a traditional onion soup crock, but the soup was not in there!  Inside the crock was a smaller soup cup which contained the soup.  I suppose the vestigal crock was just there to keep people from touching the cup right out of the oven?  The presentation notwithstanding, the soup was horrible.  They boasted a vegetarian broth, and it was bland.  The cheese seemed to be a smoked provalone.

Rating: 3 out of 10

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