|SoupCycle Brief Review|
|Overall||Service||Food Quality||Atmosphere||Vegan Options|
|Location: Close-in East side, Downtown area, and NE to killingsworth
|Hours: Close-in East side Tuesday between 9am-6pm
Close-in West side Tuesday between 9am-6pm
|Times Visited: 6|
SoupCycle may not be a restaurant, but a food delivery service offering vegan options so it’s on our radar. SoupCycle is owned by two Portland entrepreneurs, Jed and Shauna, who started delivering soup, salad, and bread to close-in SE Portlanders last year and have since expanded their delivery area to include most of inner Portland, and their staff, to three. Check out their map to see if you within their boundary, also known as Souplandistan.
The soupy duo has built a simple business model of supplying soup to soup-loving Portlanders, also known as Soupatarians. On their website you can sign up for a Soupscription and select the soup you want delivered the following week – vegan, vegetarian, or meat for $4.50, for 16 oz. and $9 for 1 quart. You can add a salad ($4) or bread ($1) to the delivery for an additional charge. An oder of a 16 oz. vegan soup and an order of bread is enough for an enjoyable meal for one. If you prefer large portions, order the quart, or the soup, salad, and bread.
Delivered for $7, my weekly order is a 16 ounce vegan soup and two pieces of bead. Deliveries are made Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on your location. In full disclosure, I was pretty unhappy with my first order due to the delivery time being “sometime during the day”, no specific time, even after a phone call, but I have since found great love for SoupCycle and have moved past this. If you’re smarter than me then on your first delivery you will not expect the soup to be delivered at lunch or dinnertime specifically, or even hot because you will have read their full FAQ on their website. The cold soup will be delivered in a plastic container sometime on the assigned day for you to reheat later. Their cute website will explain all this in detail including the perfect reheat temperature. If you will not be home during the delivery, some soupatarians leave a cooler for their soup to remain fresh on their porch.
The soups usually have cute names and contain mostly local, organic ingredients. I have sampled the following: Coconut Curry Carrot, Won’t You Bean My Neighbor, Coconut Yum, Potato Kale, The Cumin Chihuahua, and French Lentil. All soups come with a label listing the ingredients and an “enjoy by” date. Freezing and thawing soups has not been a problem for the taste or texture of the soups. If I was a low-sodium food coinnesseur I would appreciate the mild salt within each soup, but being a spice-wimp I do like the mild heat. If they could deliver a vial of fancy sea salt and hot sauce to match the soup then all would be pleased, but I understand that’s not possible to please all. Throw in your own flavored salt and heat and let these two additions bring out the flavors of all the spices.
The Curry Carrot and French Lentil soups have been my favorite so far because of their combination of strong spices. The Curry Carrot is a sweet and spicey soup, hastfully blended with coconut milk so it’s not entirely drinkable but perfectly slurpable. The French Lentil is thick with firm lentils in a tomato, red wine vinegar broth. This soup surprised me because the pleasant mustard flavor that was not overwhelming, instead it was warming and very much complimented the earthy lentil taste.
The bread is amazing in a chewy, rustic way. This was my first experience with Little T American Baker, and I cannot wait to visit this Clinton neighborhood bakery. The slices have been inconsistent in size, so savor evey bite. I suggest toasting it before enjoying. The salad has been less than stellar more than once so I’ve since skipped ordering this addition. The mixed greens, shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes have always been freash and crisp, but the bean sprouts on top have come soggy and slimy. Other weeks salads have had dried cranberries in lew of slimy bean sprouts. The salad is worth ordering for the dressing alone. It is an addictive nutritional yeast and tahini sauce, somewhat reminiscent of Yumm sauce or The Whole Bowl sauce in its ability to encourage plate licking entertaining both the sweet and tangy taste buds.
There is a $3 delivery charge for orders under $18. If you live with many people, or can get enough co-workers together to order soup, then it will be free. You can pay for your Soupscription in person when it’s delivered (assuming you’re available all day) or on a reoccurring payment plan with a credit card. Soups do need to be ordered the Friday before the delivery, so plan ahead.
SoupCycle’s stance for building a sustainable business is admirable and I can’t wait for their switch to soup delivered in returnable mason jars over plastic containers, which is planned. SoupCycle will add to your love of Portland with their local and organic food, bike delivery, and entrepreneural spirit. Other soup options or downtown delivery options include: No Fish Go Fish, Savor Soup House Cart, Portland Soup Company, just to name a few. Or if you’re intregued by thhe rise of local companies delivering products by bike, check out this Bike Portland resource.
Jed and his transport:
The Cumin Chihuahua (corn tortilla not delivered by SoupCycle):