Ok I’m not a soup lover, but I am a lover of Seinfeld, so a visit to the Soup Nazi was on the list to do.
The Soup Kitchen International and its owner Al Yeganeh in Hell’s Kitchen, was the inspiration for the Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi. Yeganeh who was born in Iran, is fictionally portrayed as the tyrannical soup man, making all of his customers follow a strict set of rules if they wish to buy a bowl of one of his coveted soups.
Apparently Jerry Seinfeld went to The Soup Kitchen for lunch weeks after “The Soup Nazi” episode aired. It didn’t go well. Yeganeh went into a profanity-filled rant about how the show had “ruined” his business and demanded an apology. Seinfeld allegedly gave the most insincere, sarcastic apology that ended with Yeganeh yelling “No soup for you!” and refused to serve him. Fact or fiction, I’ll let you decide.
Well I finally got to sample some of this infamous soup from the original shop (as its now franchised they’ve popped up everywhere in New York). Being a late Saturday afternoon, there was no line up and got to avoid the posted rules of: Pick the soup you want, Have your money ready, Move to the extreme left after ordering! And I have to say, the chicken barley was fantastic. But for $6, I was a bit disappointed in the tiny amount of soup you get. No wonder they give you bread, an apple and a Lindt chocolate to make up for it!
If you’re looking for great soup and a bit of TV history, head to the Soup Nazi in Hell’s Kitchen. And maybe if you’re really nice (or if you don’t obey the rules), they just might yell “No soup for you!”
Soup Nazi (The Original Soup Man) 259A W 55th St New York, NY 10019