Don’t Deny Your Cravings~
Sometimes you just need a hearty lunch. My preference is the goodness of a classic soup and sandwich combo. And this is exactly what “Liquids and Solids” is all bout. They use to be “Soup Etc;” but have renamed and re branded themselves; but still come with all the same recommendations and awards. They have won “Georgia Straight’s golden plate award” for “best soup 2012”. This is not surprising as they specialize in hand crafted soups that perfectly pair with their sandwiches.
They have two locations and I frequent the one on West Broadway.
Their website updates daily with their fresh soup offerings. With 8 choices to choose from, and names like, “Pepe Le Poulet” and “The Cuban Bean Crisis”; I am sure you will find one to wet your appetite and put a smile on your lips. Their famous soups are also available in plastic bags to take home. They strive to balance affordability with quality ingredients, then make it accessible for their customers.
“Liquids and Solids” uses all natural ingredients with no preservatives. The meat is organic and/or free range. So you know you get what you pay for. Yes it cost 4 times as much as a $1.29 can of Campbell’s, but after a spoon to the lips you can see it is well worth it.
The decor has a garden feel, with potted plants on table tops, walls painted a sunny sky blue; and pictures of growing vegetables set a top of wooden planks, hanging on the wall. In the corner sat a record player, with a shelf of unused records. This was not to be touched. I have never seen the cafe fully seated and those who did tend not to linger.
With hours like 8-5pm daily, they understand their business and know they are only a destination for breakfast or lunch. They cannot compete for dinner with neighbors like the “Cactus Club” and “Earl’s” around the corner. My first visit was at 4:30pm and I was only left with one soup option and a glass case filled with wrapped sandwiches to choose from. I was advised that the best time to visit would be 10-11pm when the soup are at its hottest and the menu at its fullest.
“Broccoli Incident”, a creamy cheese based soup with bits of soft boiled broccoli. This is always a winning combination, and no different from the ones I have tried in the past.
“It’s a Clam Dunk”, made with chunks of west coast calms. This soup was thick and creamy; with a smooth texture made chunky by the clearly identifiable pieces of potato, carrots, and celery. This is one of those soups that eats like a meal. Delicious if you like the taste of calms, because it comes with healthy pieces.
“Mama Mia Minestrone”, one of the heartiest minestrone I have had thanks to the pasta, beans, onions, carrots and tomato coarsely chopped into the broth. With its light tomato taste it is perfect to dip your sandwich into.
“An American Onion in Paris”, this is their version of a traditional French onion soup. The sign advertised it as a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and after my first sip I would agree. You are able to easily avoid the onions and enjoy the broth. The clear soup was flavourful, but with a little more oil then I would like floating on the top.
“The Grateful Veg”, their vegetarian option. It is made with tomatoes, artichokes, bocconcini cheese, fresh basil, spinach, and their house made pesto aioli, served on grilled focaccia. I usually don’t like leafy greens, but the spinach seemed hand pick on the day, and had a crispness to them. This went well with their cheesy broccoli soup.
“Coffee and Scotch Pulled Pork”. With a name like that who wouldn’t order it? Three well loved vices in one hand held sandwich. It is slow roasted pork, cooked in their own BC BUD coffee, and Scotch cooking sauce. It is topped with caramelized onions and on grilled Yukon gold and scallion focaccia bread. I felt the name really over hyped this sandwich and it did not meet my high expectations of booze and meat. The meat was tender and the bread crispy, but the sauce was a little sweet and odd tasting, thanks to the coffee kick. It was a nice to try but not one I would repeat. What made it worse was the clam chowder I bought to pair it with. Good soup, not a good match.
“Heavenly Pesto Chicken” is slow roasted, free range chicken; topped with aged cheddar, spinach, tomato and their home made aioli, served on sourdough bread. This was a wonderful medley of flavours, and the perfect light sandwich to have before returning to work. The pesto did not over power the gentle taste of tomato, and the creamy sauce gave it all a zip, similar to mayonnaise.
“The Blue Moo”, in-house roasted free range beef, topped with sugar cured bacon, tomato, and their house made blue cheese aioli, served on walnut scallion bread. Not really fully reading their description, I ordered the sandwich on name alone. The meat had a hickory note to it, and the bacon was not as salty as if you would have fried it. You couldn’t smell or taste the blue cheese, but you were able to identify it by its creamy texture. The bread was too fibrous, and I didn’t enjoy being surprised when I bit into a walnut.
Would I go back? – Yes, sandwiches are one of my favorite, guilt free foods. You get all the food groups in one bite and it always satisfies. Really hard to mess a sandwich up and I really like their rotating menu selections. Everything is from scratch with the utmost respect for integrity, which really shows through in their food.
Would I recommend it? – Yes they have more unique sandwich options then “Quizno’s” and use fresher ingredients than “SubWay”. It is a gourmet fast food sandwich for the same price as an almost 6 inch foot long.
Don’t deny your cravings.
LIQUID & SOLIDS
1550 West Broadway, Vancouver BC