In college, a friend once told me he didn’t like soup. Fortunately I cut that asshole out of my life, because who wants a friend who doesn’t like soup? There’s so many different varieties and textures; you can serve it hot or cold; and what the heck do you slurp when you have a cold if you don’t eat chicken noodle?
Needless to say, I love soup. I usually have Top Ramen for at least one meal every day (seriously) because I’m infatuated with the fried noodles and MSG packet of tastiness.
But when I really have that craving to bloat myself with salt and cheese, which happens more often than you might expect, it has to be French onion soup. And when I want French onion soup, there’s only one place I’ll go — Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery. It’s a chain, so you might have seen the other handful of locations in the city (Castro, West Portal, Marina, etc.), but I’ve found that the best soup can be had at the Lower Haight location on Fillmore. The broth is salty, but that’s the way I like it. The portion is huge — even I can’t finish a bowl (though it’s more like some crazy liter-sized thing that can hardly be called a bowl). The cheese on this baby is what dreams are made of — a completely gratuitous amount of Swiss smothers the top of the bowl and drips scandalously down the sides, browned to perfection. There’s also an herb crostini involved, and that sounds very important.
Maybe somewhere in San Francisco serves fancier, French-ier soup, but for $6.50, I’m completely satisfied with my little obsession. And if you happen to be at lunch with my old college soup-hater buddy, he’ll be fine — the Squat has one of those all-encompassing menus that boasts everything from dessert crepes to seafood linguini.Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 237 Fillmore St. (btwn Haight & Laussat) [Lower Haight]
Photo courtesy realbakingwithrose.com