On a hot August afternoon, what could be better than chilled mango pineapple soup? Nothing really, unless you consider the fact that I was at the Fried Chicken Festival sponsored by Food GPS when I had this soup. I was among a small but smart crowd all jockeying for a place in line to taste and discover the best fried chicken in LA. There were at least 8-10 fried chicken booths, with the samples cooked and presented by some of the best chefs in LA. There was chicken served with cheesy grits, chicken served on a bed of coleslaw, chicken served in a biscuit sandwich, and chicken served beside a biscuit. There was fried chicken on the bone and boneless too. Boneless was definitely easier to eat. Some of the fried chicken was dark meat, and some was all white.
It seems that the longest lines were for Ladies Gunboat Society, Craft and Eggslut, a newish place inside downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. I stood in line by one enthusiastic foodie who was talking aloud to anyone who would listen and he said his favorite tasting of the day so far was from the Free Range LA food truck. So I asked him to hold my place in line while I went and got myself a sample. The blueberry BBQ sauce was a nice touch atop a really generous all-white meat piece of perfectly fried chicken. And the coleslaw rivals what we get at Greenblatt’s! My favorite blogger had just written about this exact food truck, so it was fun to sample the goods so soon after her post.
But alas, one can only eat so much chicken. Even if one is washing it down with watermelon sangria! The smart organizers at Food GPS knew to invite the dessert folks. The sweet stuff was limited to a few carefully selected vendors. Valerie Confections offered a lovely fruit crumble; the newest addition to Grand Central Market, McConnell’s Ice Cream offered two flavors; Sprinkles had mini cupcakes, and then there was THE SOUP offered by Quenelle, a bakery/ice cream parlor on Magnolia in Burbank. Not your typical soup, but a chilled Mango Pineapple Soup. It looked interesting and colorful, so I took one small cup. And then I went back for another one. And went back for a third. On my fourth visit I just took a few pictures and thanked the young lady for bringing my best bite of the day. This beautiful fruity soup had blood orange and Greek yogurt sorbet swimming in chamomile gelee with fun crunchy bits like Marcona almonds and coconut feuilletine. That’s an awfully fancy word but it was listed as an ingredient so I’m going to say it again, feuilletine! It’s basically thin, crispy bits that are added to desserts to add textural contrast. And it worked. I am declaring these refreshing, flavorful, fun cups of Mango Pineapple Soup as not only my best bite of the day but also my best bite of the week!
By Trish Procetto