The Soup Spoon is a place that Mike recommended to me months ago. Since then, I’ve gotten a few people that have said I need to give it a shot. I’m always a little nervous about trying places when I can’t find a menu first. I looked and looked and couldn’t find anything about what kind of menu they have. J and I were downtown today for the Michigan Select Buy Fresh, Buy Local Farmer’s Market (review HERE) around lunch time. She said something about grabbing a hot dog from the cart near City Hall, but I suggested we give The Soup Spoon a try. She thought I meant Soup to Nutz Bistro where we’ve struck out three times trying to get a meal. Once she figured out what I meant, she was on board, so we loaded up and headed down Michigan Avenue.
The Soup Spoon is located a few blocks from Sparrow Hospital right on Michigan Avenue. It’s actually connected to Bancroft Flowers so you have something to look at if you have to wait. During lunch time, that’s a pretty good possibility. When we arrived, the restaurant was still pretty empty. There’s only a few tables, no more than 10, in the whole place. It’s a very small, intimate setting. The kitchen is located in the center and it’s completely open. There is no closed space inside the restaurant. The tables are situated around the kitchen and coffee counter. When we walked in, we weren’t sure if it was a restaurant or a lunch counter type of place. A waitress saw us walk in and told us to sit where we liked. We grabbed a table in the front and the waitress brought us menus. I was incredibly relieved to see The Soup Spoon served a typical cafe style lunch. With a name like The Soup Spoon, I thought maybe they’d only serve soup. That’s what I was worried about. I could see a place like that being successful near the hospital.
There was a lot that looked really good on the menu. I should have asked a few more questions about a couple of the items. I knew I didn’t want anything with mayo and a couple of the sandwiches had “cafe sauce” which I assumed was mayo based. I ended up getting the French Dip. The French baguette came with thinly sliced roast beef, a slice of provolone and a cup of Au Jus. You have the choice of kettle chips, coleslaw or a Mediterranean Salad on the side. I got the kettle chips. The sandwich was really good. A lot of times, French Dips have a really strong onion flavor. This one didn’t. There was just a hint, but wasn’t overpowering. The sandwich was really good. One of the best French Dips I’ve had in Lansing. I cleaned my plate…including the garlic pickle that was served as garnish.
J ordered Ava’s Turkey Sandwich. The sandwich comes with thinly sliced turkey breast, apple smoked bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. She asked to leave the tomato, onion, and mayo off. They did, but they also left off the bacon for some reason. She also had a choice of bread. The options were sourdough or whole wheat. She went with wheat. The big thing she noticed about the sandwich was the bread. It was very dense and very similar to Great Harvest Bread Company. Even without the bacon, she enjoyed the sandwich. The bread was a good choice and added a lot to the sandwich. It was very filling and she stopped short of finishing her chips.
Our bill for lunch was just over $15. The Soup Spoon Cafe was a wonderful recommendation. The atmosphere was great. I love the intimate setting. As we were finishing up, things started getting busy. More and more people were coming in and having to wait for tables. I was scared of The Soup Spoon because I couldn’t find a menu. That was stupid. It was a wonderful cafe and a great meal. I can understand why those who work in the downtown office buildings will drive here instead of walking to one of the downtown restaurants. The Soup Spoon is a great concept and it’s pulled off very well.