Get Soupid: Mr. Broadway Kosher – More than a Treyfle
Catty-corner from the Mitzvah Tank (which does NOT have a 105mm kosher cannon and as such I want my money back) upon its normal parking spot at the far edge of the Garment District, Mr. Broadway has sat for as long as I can remember. Pitopia’s taken up the Israeli edge of the world of kashrus, and offering up some viable soupy options, Mr. Broadway not only rounds out the old-school (or in the words of Grandpa Boris, the old country) options of kosher fare with the inevitable kosher sushi. Enough with the meshugener alte kacher kosher sushi, though – as it’s getting colder and people are getting sicker, we need grandma-style soup. Mr. Broadway, put our soup’s name in lights!
Grade pending? Uh-oh. Gonna suck if the only place I know of in south midtown that has helzl gets DoH’d.
The soup options are split into Yidishe and Oriental. I’m not sure if their naming convention is blatant ethnic stereotyping or some honest effort to divide into us-versus-them. Either way, when grouped up and listed numerically, the Souperator’s kosher word of the day is 5 – Hamesh, in translation, the idea of saving or being rescued. Hopefully Mr. Broadway can save me from bad kreplach experiences in the past, tiny little dessicated and flavorless meat envelopes.
Making its triumphant return fresh from writing Seth MacFarlane’s material for the upcoming Oscars, the Leatherman! Measuring up at a good 4.5 inches, I seriously thought the kreplach was a matzo ball at first. Dang, that’s six ounces of krep in a one ounce lach.
Taste: I’m not going to lie, while the broth is a basic one, it’s a deep and flavorful one without going too salty. It’s a very good base. Problem is that it’s just that… a base. There’s zero extra ingredients in there. If they used any veggies or aromatics to make the broth, they didn’t leave them in for consumption.
The kreplach itself kinda did a big number on taste, though. Once again, I won’t lie: the meat filling tasted exactly like a hot dog. It was a ground all-beef hot dog stuffed into a nice, thick noodly filling. The kreplach filling then proceeded to break apart and crumble into the soup, making the broth taste hot doggy in a weird, weird way. I admit, I’ve never had kreplach before and I’m hoping to be proven incorrect that they all taste like that, but this one didn’t do much for the flavor. 2 out of 5.
Viscosity: I give Mr. Broadway real credit for getting it just right in terms of soup viscosity. When our generic deli representative decided to somehow partially thicken their broth to weird results, I had to wonder how hard it is to just do broth right. This is correctly done broth. It goes down easily, it isn’t too affected by the ingredients (I asked for rice instead and of noodles, so the rice was just steamed rice mixed in), and while it had a minor sheen on top it wasn’t greasy-feeling. Granted, you kinda hope that chicken soup with rice (eat it once, eat it twice!) would have a little thickness to it thanks to the rice gluten cooking out, but I know that this wasn’t meant to carry rice as an ingredient – just as an addon. I seriously am thinking hard about faults for the broth and can’t find anything. It tastes like grandma’s – and that’s as high a complement as I can deliver. 5 out of 5.
Extras: A bag of oyster crackers. Welp… at least you get something, right? Plus, you can choose between rice or noodles…
Yep, that’s it. Don’t expect freebies or decent bread. Even Bistro Marketplace let you pick between crackers and bread, 1 out of 5.
Value: I’ll say this, at $5.95, a full buck more than most anywhere else, you do get a big ol’ honker of a kreplach. Archimedes’ Revenge kicks fully in, though, because it plus the rice displaces a lot of the broth. So you get a big ol’ chunk in your soup but not much otherwise. Plus given that hot dogs aren’t exactly made of filet mignon over here, I’m guessing that there’s a heavy markup at play for this soup. If you want the taste of nostalgia in your Yiddish cup, this will probably fill it – but only at a price. Plus, the Israeli salad I got for an extra $3.75 was grossly overpriced for cucumbers and tomatoes. Probably because the cucumbers were pickles. Yes, pickles. More on that after I come back with a solid 2 out of 5.
Overall: Well, Mr. Broadway fills the bill for Jewish comfort food and then some. The problem is that the experience is a clear and present bad clash of the “comfort food” and “then some” factors. There are options for extras ranging from baked beans to burek to Israeli salad. Right there on the menu, it says it’s made with cucumbers… but I got half-sour pickles instead. They added a tahini-based dressing which did not work. Not at all. The smokiness of tahini is not, not, NOT meant for pickles, ever. Please, take my word on this. Sure, you can get other options and come under the ML limit (Mine was $9.02 before tip and after a 5% online order discount) but this experience seems to lend a caveat: call and verify first if you expect the basics to be done right. At least it was ready when I picked up. 3 out of 5.
Final score: 2.6 out of 5. If you have to keep kosher, it’s gotta be tough. My wife is allergic to garlic and while pills help, she’s still in physical pain a good chunk of the time when we go out to eat. It’s not the same as a religious dietary requirement, true, and fortunately the pantheon of Jewish cuisine has comfort food in soup form to make it work. While I’m sure it’s tough finding good kreplach in midtown, though, we’re all about the soup. It’s not that great when you consider the factors that brought it down, and that’s a shame because their broth is one of the better ones.
I want to like you more, Mr. Broadway. But with the options out there, I’m not so sure if I’d take any more of your kreplach for what you’re charging.
Mr. Broadway Kosher, 1372 Broadway (Between 38th and 39th)