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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Soup Cowboy lassos ‘em in

A newcomer to the Houston food scene, Soup Cowboy offers high quality rustic soups and sandwiches to the downtown lunch crowd out of a location in the Pennzoil building’s food court.

Though the concept may sound simple, it is often the simplest answer that is usually the correct one.

Armed with juicy, hand-carved brined turkey breast sandwiches and hearty beef and bean stew, Soup Cowboy is not your everyday soup and sandwich shop.

Chef Jake Ellis, an Art Institute of Houston grad, heads the kitchen with his years of experience in the industry and has written an impressive menu with more than 50 soups that are rotated throughout the seasons.

When you first walk into the store, you will find an ice cream parlor-like arrangement of freshly prepared soups with flavors like the cowboy beef and bean and cream of poblano.

If you find yourself having a hard time choosing which soup you would like the staff is more than welcome to provide you with a sample.

For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, there is an assortment of homemade cookies, ranging from triple chocolate ganache to salted gooey caramel. Needless to say but these are not your everyday cookies.

My first impression of the cowboy beef and bean was that it is a light, yet very hearty soup — something a person could fill up on during a lunch break but would not be slow you down while trying to go back to work.

Let me just say this about the poblano soup: I had planned to share this with my wife and I ended up nearly getting my hands bit when I tried getting a second spoonful — it’s just that good.

It is buttery and spicy cream soup that packs a crazy amount of taste.

You can rest assured your money will be well spent, as you will be licking the bottom of the bowl when you run out of bread to soak up the last drops of this soup.

Then there was the jalapeño sausage sandwich with cilantro aioli, which was by far one of my favorites out of the whole experience.

One thing I cannot stand is only being able to taste the heat when I eat something with jalapeños in it; the one trait I failed to inherit from my Mexican side of the family is being able to enjoy most spicy foods.

However, the sausage has a nice balance, allowing that heat from the peppers to stay in the background so you are able to taste and appreciate all the other aspects of the sausage and the sandwich.

I had only got a half sandwich, but by the time I had finished it I knew I should have asked for a whole. The aioli was awesome; it was so rich it almost seemed like cilantro butter.

My only complaint is that they don’t put enough of it on the sandwich.

Finally we come to the cookies, made from scratch at soup cowboy.

If a chocolate cake and a brownie had a baby they would call it the triple chocolate ganache, a messiah to chocolate worshipers everywhere.

With the consistency of a cake and the gooeyness of a brownie, this chocolatey hybrid stands alone, and I am not even that big on chocolate to begin with.

The saltedcaramel cookie?My mouth salivates just typing it, while the name alone is enough to draw you in.

By combining the gooey texture of caramel and encasing it in cookie dough then finishing it off with sea salt to enhance the flavor of the caramel through contrast — if only I had the foresight to purchase more than just one and some milk to go with it. So far, it is my favorite item that they have on the menu.

While the phrase chain restaurant is synonymous with pictures of monotony and unoriginality, it is establishments like Soup Cowboy that are slowly but surely changing that image.

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