“…Here is The Stone Soup Company,
We like to share we have plenty,
Whatever it is we can’t sell,
Given free soup bid farewell,
We want society to excel,
Please eat our soup and share our story.”
~ Ilya Ben Goldberg “Soupman”
Located just a few doors down from ThLocated just a few doors down from The Honey Pot on Seventh Ave., The Stone Soup Company Diner is another one of Ybor’s unique restaurants. The Company has been open since 2010, and serves everything from soups to salads, Cuban sandwiches to pasta and flatbreads to kabobs.
This diner immediately transports customers to a vintage paradise. The front of this diner is unassuming, evoking a “hole-in-the-wall” aesthetic. Once inside, brick walls covered with modern and vintage artwork welcome customers along with especially personable servers. Think “Cheers,” except in restaurant form; one of the waitresses calls a few patrons “love” and “love bug.”
Once you’re seated, via a quaint booth or table, the servers are quick to greet, get you a drink and take your order, all with a smile. Despite the seemingly simple name, The Stone Soup Company’s menu is overflowing with mouthwatering dishes. Assorted hearty soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, sandwiches, flatbreads and desserts make up The Stone Soup Company’s stock.
Portions are healthy yet hearty. Although the fish and chips platter is listed under the appetizers, this dish comes with plenty of lightly battered fish nuggets and steak fries to count as a meal. In fact, most items on the menu are around the same price. Entrees are slightly more expensive, but only by a few dollars. The flatbreads are crisp, soft and cheesy, and though they aren’t very big, they’re filling is nicely paired with a salad to create a delicious, healthy meal.
“The Ex-Wife” is one of The Stone Soup Company’s signature entrees. This isn’t your typical pasta– it comes with your choice of gyro meat or chicken, tossed with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms, drizzled with white Greek sauce over a bed of linguine. Each bite is a blend of warm, zesty flavor. It is also highly recommended that customers stay for at least one of The Stone Soup Company’s desserts. Among the many options are ice cream cones, floats, milkshakes, chocolate truffles, mini pies, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and a brownie or cookie al a mode (or get brownie al a mode and a separate warm chocolate chip cookie and combine the two). Desserts range from $2.50 to $8, though most are around $4.50. The menu also comes with several non-dairy, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options for their dishes.
Everything inside The Stone Soup Company is relaxed, retro, vintage and inviting. Tin cut-outs of vintage cars hold condiments on each table along with checkerboards, that help hungry customers pass the time. This ornamentation and attention to detail spreads to their dinnerware, quite literally. Many of the dishes are served in wooden bowls, such as the pasta, fish and chips and the salads. Even the flatbreads are served on wooden boards, which evoke a homey, rustic quality. Glass bottled soft drinks will have customers flashing back to the days of poodle skirts and leather jackets. Every seemingly minute detail has been taken into account.
The Stone Soup Company is reminiscent of big restaurant chains such as Cracker Barrel, Steak and Shake and Zaxby’s, and is somehow able to combine the quaintest elements from each chain and bottle it up into a small, independent one-of-a-kind restaurant. This hodge-podge vintage aesthetic never feels forced, but rather completely natural. From the moment diners walk in to the moment they satisfactorily stroll out, a throwback mix of classic rock and pop hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s coalesce the vintage atmosphere. A unique dining experience that will have you wanting a repeat experience.
Claire Farrow can be reached at Claire.Farrow@spartans.ut.edu.