The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Soup, Seinfeld & Subways (#atozchallenge)

 "This man sells the greatest soup you have ever eaten, and he is the meanest man in America. I feel very strongly about this, Becky; it's not just about the soup." from Sleepless in Seattle

"No soup for you!"  The Original Soup Nazi Man The Seinfeld Show

   



Manhattan clam chowder
Manhattan clam chowder
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    

    











Soup
     
     Gordon Shaw, a friend from back in my junior high school days, in response to my question "What Does Manhattan Say to You?" posted on Facebook that Manhattan makes him think of "Manhattan clam chowder--A very good soup which is not so easy to find anymore."

          Curious about Gordon's declaration about this soup I decided to find a place where I could try it since to my recollection I had never eaten Manhattan style clam chowder.  I've always enjoyed the creamy white New England style clam chowder which I'll frequently buy in the canned varieties.  I've also had the white chowder in several different restaurants.  I was aware that the Manhattan style chowder had a tomato based broth, but knew little beyond that.

          So I began my quest to find a restaurant in the Los Angeles area that served Manhattan style clam chowder.  As one one typically does these days, I searched on the internet.  A few restaurant locations serving that style of chowder were listed, but none very close to me and I was not about to drive across Los Angeles for a bowl of soup.   So I decided to just get some canned Manhattan Chowder.

         Again this was not the easiest task.  Maybe it's a seasonal thing.  Or maybe Manhattan Chowder is not a big seller in my area.  Finally I did locate two brands at my local Ralph's Market.  There was no Campbell's to be found, but I did locate the Progresso (19 oz) Traditional Manhattan Clam Chowder Soup on sale at Ralph's for $1.99.  It was essentially like a tasty traditional vegetable soup. The soup had nice clam chunks and a denser broth with vegetables.  It was not too bad, but I wasn't overwhelmingly excited about the soup either.

     I also purchased the Bookbinder's Manhattan Clam Chowder (10.5 oz) for $3.99 at Ralph's.  To me this brand was too tart tasting and not as hearty as Progresso.   This version seemed skimpy on the clams with not as good a quality of clams as the Progresso brand.

       My final verdict is that I'm not a big fan of Manhattan Style Clam Chowder.   Maybe it's better as a cold weather soup.  And I'd imagine it would be better if more of a home made style and not canned.  Maybe it would be best if I went to Manhattan to get a bowl, but I assure you that if I wasn't willing to go across town to get a bowl of soup I wouldn't be willing to go across country to get a bowl of soup either.

Seinfeld

        Thinking of soup in Manhattan my thoughts go to the Soup Nazi episode of The Seinfeld Show.  The character was based on an actual soup restaurant owner who apparently took his soup very seriously.  Al Yeganeh is the owner of The Original Soup Man restaurant in Manhattan.  Initially offended by the Seinfeld episode, the Soup Man has used his fame to establish a chain of Soup Man restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada.

         The Seinfeld Show epitomizes Manhattan lifestyle as most episodes take place exclusively in Manhattan with only occasional forays outside the city.   The show has continued in regular syndication since ending its nine season run in 1998.   If you can't live in Manhattan, you can always watch Seinfeld and get kind of a feel for living there.

   Subways

         Taxicabs and subways are probably what comes to mind for most of us when we think of transportation in Manhattan.   There are tons of cars on the streets, but it's not cheap keeping a car if you live in Manhattan.   And parking can be difficult to find and expensive when you do find it.    Taking the subway can be fast and relatively inexpensive.  Of course the subways can be uncomfortably crowded a certain times of the day, but it's Manhattan.  It's a crowded place!

          If you've gone into a Subway sandwich restaurant you might have noticed the stylized maps of the Manhattan subway system as part of the wall decor.  Now this decor might be getting phased out in favor of different designs that seem more upscale.  Traditionally Subway restaurants have been mostly a carry-out establishment with little eye appeal, but now they are apparently taking the Panera philosophy of keeping customers in store for dining.

         There are many great sandwich shops in Manhattan and subs seem to go hand in hand with the big city concept of carry-out food.   As one of the largest restaurant franchises in the world, naturally there are many Subway restaurants in Manhattan.  The most popular sandwich at Subway is the Italian BMT which originally stood for "Brooklyn Manhattan Transit" but now has been changed to stand for "Bigger, meatier, tastier".   Ironically, despite the association with Manhattan and the subway transit system, the Subway restaurant chain began in Bridgeport, Connecticut.       
            What do you think of Manhattan style clam chowder?    Have you ever had soup from the Original Soup Nazi Man?     What is your favorite sandwich shop?

*********************
Battle of the Band Results



      
Manhattan

        My Battle of Friday April 15th was between versions of the Rogers and Hart classic song "Manhattan" as performed by pianist Carmen Cavallaro and Merv Griffin with the Freddy Martin Orchestra.  

         As some of you mentioned in comments, the recording by the Freddy Martin Orchestra with game show maven Merv Griffin doing the vocals sounded like something from the 30's or 40's.  In fact, I researched rather extensively to be sure there had not been an error in dating this piece, but all indications show that indeed this was from 1952.  I love this style, this sound--everything about the recording is very appealing to me and to most of you as well.

         However there was an elegant high class society style a la Eddie Duchin in the piano playing of Carmen Cavallaro.  This is a style that I also like a great deal.  I went back and forth on this pairing as both recordings offer something that appeals to me.   In the end though I decided to go with Carmen Cavallaro's version of the song.  His was the version that initially captivated me the most and the one I kept going back to.   My vote goes to pianist, but that vote did not help Cavallaro win the Battle.

Final Vote Tally:

Carmen Cavallaro    9

Merv Griffin           16

      Be sure to come back on May 1st for my next Battle.   It's going to be a bit of a sly one as we transition from A to Z into the regular blogging schedule.

*******************

Bonus S: SEISMIC CRIMES

Today is the release of Chrys Fey's first novel!



      An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

     Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

     When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

DIGITAL LINKS:

ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT!







41 comments:

  1. Arlee Your manhattan stories are making me greedy to know more and more about this place.. AT the mention of soup I felt like having one myself..

    http://serendipityofdreams.blogspot.in/2016/04/stung.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deepti, By all means you should take a trip to Manhattan. Maybe I'll have soup for lunch today.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I loved that Seinfeld episode! That was so funny.

    I also love New England style clam chowder. I'm not crazy about the Manhattan style. It's good, it's just not that good...

    On my first visit to Manhattan, back in the 70s, the subway system was much like it appeared in the movie The Warriors: dirty, rickety and covered with graffiti. I haven't been lately but I hear they're much cleaner now, offering a smoother ride. Lee, is that correct?

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, I never got into Seinfeld until it went into syndication and then I understood why it had been so popular. Funny show.

      Last time I rode the Manhattan subways they seemed to be appealing, clean, and safe. I was impressed by what I experienced.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Being from New England, I've never had the Manhattan style chowder and you don't even see it on menus anymore. I did like the Soup Nazi episode though. It definitely made 'NO SOUP FOR YOU!' part of the American lexicon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, I don't recall ever seeing Manhattan style chowder on a restaurant menu. I think the creamy style is just more popular. They even have it on the buffet at our local Sizzler Steak House.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. No soup for you!
    A local soup place tried to cash into the soup nazi slogan as well, by calling their store 'The Soup Nazi'. It wasn't long before they were forced to change the name of their store. It is now called 'The Soup Otzie'. Great Seinfeld episode, well most of them were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeffrey, seems strange that any restaurant would want to associate itself with Nazism, but I guess when a fad happens people will jump on board even if it is offensive.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Thank you for including my promo, Arlee! You're the best! :D

    When I was little, all I ate was soup. lol It was my favorite food. I'm not much of a fan of Manhattan Clam Chowder, but I'd try the one you shared a picture of. It looks good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chrys, glad to help out. Hope you have a success with the release.

      I'll try just about anything once. I tried menudo and though it took a few tries to get accustomed to it, now I love it.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Bwahahaha That had to be my favorite show out of all of Seinfeld's shows. The soup nazi was too funny, but the best part was the end when she found the recipes, and told him "No soup" for him. bwahahaha It was great. Thanks for the laugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, yes, I remember that recipe episode. I should start watching those Seinfeld shows again since they always seem to be on at some time of the day.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Great stuff, Manhattan Clam Chowder is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, maybe I'll eventually find that ultimate bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder somewhere someday.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. There was a sandwich place in downtown Philly-I think it was called the Lodge-that had a long counter and chalkboard menus that ran the length of the counter-hundreds of choices.

    The line would often spill into the street, and the register was near the front.

    If you got to the register and weren't ready, the owner would yell at you and tell you get out of line.

    As a result, I only ever ordered off of the first two chalkboards-I have no idea what was on the remaining ten or twelve.

    When I saw the "Soup Nazi" episode for the first time, I immediately thought of that place.

    There were a handful of shops in Philly that had personality like that-while I have found places in AZ that I like, I've found nothing that has a real personality.

    Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larry, must have been a good place to have those kinds of crowds. I like to have my order ready but I get uneasy if I feel too rushed. But it is bad to have a lot of people waiting behind you while you try to figure out what you want.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I'd love to try that Clam Chowder. Looks delicious. Best wishes to Chrys. Really looking forward to reading Seismic Crimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicola, I think the New England style will remain my favorite clam chowder.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Love the soup nazi episode because we have a place where i live that caters to the luncheon crowd and they are known for their ...um....style. I have been in there and asked for something, the people behind the counter then argue right in front of us all and we patrons all line up and just do exactly what is done in the Seinfeld episode. It's quite funny actually. I like the original clam chowder not the tomato style one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I guess a funny routine might not be bad, but I'd had to actually feel intimidated or humiliated by employees in a restaurant.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. No soup for you! Who doesn't love that episode of Seinfeld? Only someone who has never seen it!

    I always preferred the subway over the bus. I never could quite grasp the bus schedule (or maybe had no interest in grasping it). But, it seemed like asking for trouble to get somewhere on time by riding the bus, since it was using the same road as everyone else... which is to say... traffic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin, I'm the same way about the bus. I've ridden the light rail/subway in L.A., but never the bus.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I truly love good soups! I make a mean Ultimate Potatoe Soup and a great Taco Soup. I can also make a chili that will make a good man both worship and cry! I love a good clam chowder. I know I like the white but I always get the names mixed up, Boston or Manhattan? Loved the soup Nazi - poor idiot George! Never been on a subway, hope to one day just for the experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gregg, I enjoy good soup is well, but other than chili I've rarely made my own homemade soup. The subways are kind of fun to ride, but I wouldn't want to have to ride them everyday.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I enjoy the "white" clam chowder and just can't wrap my arms around clams and tomato-based soup. I do love New York and Manhattan, for the yummy deli's, shopping, on-Broadway and off-Broadway plays and musicals. If I lived there, I'd be broke because I'd want to do everything. I enjoy your blog - keep up the good work! www.dianeweidenbenner.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, for me it's the same with clam sauce on pasta--the red sauce is okay, but I much prefer the clams with olive oil and garlic sauce. Hope you continue to visit!

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I've never tried Manhattan clam chowder. But I'm from New England, so it seems slightly sacrilegious...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, those crazy Manhattanites!

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Sorry, it's New England clam chowder for me. Loved Seinfeld's soup guy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, looks like the New England style chowder is winning this popularity contest.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I've never had Manhattan clam chowder. While I like clams fine and I *LOVE* tomatoes, I just don't think the two would be very good together.

    I have never had soup from the Soup Nazi dude, nor would I go. I don't like rudeness and don't actively seek it out, and I sure don't want to pay for the experience.

    I think that Subway is great!

    Thanks for another great post. Have a blessed evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzanne, I'd like to try the soup but I don't want to feel pressured when I'm ordering my food.
      I like Subway maybe best of all fast food, but it depends on what I'm craving.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I'm not a clam chowder fan but a grumpy old proprietor wouldn't bother me - Hey, it's Manhattan! Besides, we have grumpy people here too;-)
    My family is divided between Subway shops and Eegees, which is exclusive to Tucson. Excellent sandwiches, but come to think of it, Eegees doesn't sell soups!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, my wife refuses to try clams or anything similar. I like all shellfish though it doesn't always like me as I've grown older.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Clam chowder - haven't tried it but it's on my list. I like a good Subway sandwich, specially since Subway opened up in India a few years ago. I can't say much about the soup nazi - because my father was a soup nazi and I wasn't a big fan of that liquid meal with strange chunks in it. I like soup now though. Perhaps it's a grown up meal, an acquired taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kalpanaa, Subway has gone worldwide like McDonald's. I guess they're just about everywhere now.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. There was a deli here that if you wanted to change something on the sandwich like no onions or add cheese the owner would yell and say "if you don't like my sandwiches go home and make your own". Then he would make the offender go back to the end of the line. People would actually do it and then when it was their turn again they would order the standard sandwich with no changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, if I'm paying for a sandwich I want it with the things I like, but usually I'll order things the way they're listed on the menu. I'm not real picky about things.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. People either "got" Seinfeld or they didn't. I really "got" him. I think I've seen The Big Sandwich at least ten times. I see George in myself a lot of times. I'll have to look up the episode you wrote about. I can't remember the one about the soup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C.Lee, I didn't get the Seinfeld phenomena until I actually watched the show and then it all made sense. The idea of a show about nothing sounded ridiculous and then I started watching and understood that the show was really about everything--just plain everyday life and all of the absurdity that life entails.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. You're making me hungry :) The most important thing for anyone from outside NYC to remember is to ask for cawffee, not coffee. That way you won't get caught in a mire of misunderstanding :)
    Jemima Pett

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee