Broccoli Cheese Soup
The group of congenial colleagues shared lunch together, often, a couple times a week.
Despite the center city location of the office, it would still be a couple of years ahead when an abundant restaurant scene would flourish with talent, creativity, and great food destinations in center-city Philadelphia.
Until then, only a few fine upscale establishments, assorted delis, and sandwich shops dotted the landscape every couple of blocks, well, along with common Chinese restaurants serving the usual luncheon specials of Kung Pao chicken with rice and an egg roll all for a set price.
Sometimes the biggest dives served the best sandwiches, those whose interior essentials mostly included diner style red leather seats between attached wooden tables where after aggressive snagging often required cleaning up with a makeshift napkin before taking a seat. There might be wrappers, soda cups with melting ice chips, crumbs, or empty trays leftover from recent departed patrons.
Recently reminded of those surrounding years gave pause to reflection after running into Phil, a very special old restaurant friend when stopping by the Palm Restaurant for a cocktail last week following the musical, Motown, where it turns out Phil is now the bartender. It was rather interesting to reminisce the progression of the restaurant scene in Philadelphia from its early inception, as well as to learn the news and history along the string bringing forth new beginnings on what would eventually evolve to a world class dining mecca.
Yet after seeing Phil, it wasn’t only those exciting early new top restaurant trends that would later be reflected upon, it was also the lunches shared between congenial colleagues at least twice a week. Contemplating the time also meant reflecting on the lunch standards and trends.
Even without social media the word got out on surrounding emerging restaurants an extra few block walk away, those that today might even be transitioned to more modern versions of bistros. Their menus introduced some new yet comforting fare that then quickly spread onto the menus of area delis, standard sandwich and luncheon shops. One of these fast favorite novel creations included the menu addition of Broccoli and Cheese Soup.
It was all the rage, Broccoli and Cheese Soup, though African Peanut Chicken Soup got its share of attention too, but it admittedly seemed to have more of a cult following, perhaps being a little too creative for the time.
Broccoli and Cheese soup was ‘trending’ everywhere the congenial colleagues seemed to dine. Bowls of it, cups of it, anywhere visited, it had to be tried.
Until that fateful day arrived. Horror ensued. The newly fashionable, creamy, comforting, delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup tasted like a thick blob of paste. Despite it’s many good experiences, that was all it took. And from that day on, Broccoli and Cheese Soup was prepared at home, thickened with potatoes instead of flour, providing many, many, years of tasty comfort and flavor. And the congenial colleagues, well, instead of sharing lunch a couple of times a week, they may now share dinner in the mecca among the best dining destinations in the world. And perhaps afterward, stop in at the Palm for a cocktail and see Phil, a very special old restaurant friend, who can easily share the news, history, and the bringing forth of new beginnings toward all of the fabulous dining choices now evolved in center city Philadelphia, all except that is, those luncheons centered around Broccoli Cheese Soup.