Süp719 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89501
For a long time, I thought an umlaut was something you added to a word to make it look more metal. You know, as in, Mötley Crüe. It has that Teutonic guitar-warrior look. And “Sup” looks like the popular slang contraction of “What’s up?” A common greeting among frat boys, computer geeks and wannabe gangstas, and something my dad started saying in a misguided attempt to be cool after watching Boyz N the Hood. The big Süp sign on South Virginia looks like a big-hair-metal “Hello.” But it’s actually just a Germanic bastardization of the spelling of “soup.” (In German, soup is “Suppe.")
Süp is a nice new lunch spot, specializing in soup, sandwiches and salads. It’s already picking up quite a buzz, and if you arrive between noon and 1 on a weekday, there aren’t many free tables. At first, we had to sit outside and enjoy a busy, noisy stretch of Virginia Street, best known for its tattoo parlors and rough-and-tumble biker bars.
“Ah, South Virginia—it’s the equal to Paris,” observed my ever-wry girlfriend, Sara.
Plus, the outside tables are so slanted that your drinks start to slide off. We were happier once we moved inside. That being said, the impractical outdoor seating is my only complaint about this otherwise friendly and delicious little soup kitchen.
They menu at least six different soups every day. Their menus have the daily soups listed, but this seems to be more of a general guideline than a set-in-stone rule, since the soups on the day we visited didn’t match those listed on the menu. All the employees are enthusiastic about the place. If you ask for a recommendation you’re likely to spark a good-natured argument of which of the day’s soups is the best. They also let you sample the soups, which is generous and nicely demonstrates their rightful confidence. Eventually, I went with the pesto turkey sandwich for $8.95, with an added bowl of broccoli cheddar soup for $3.50.
Sara was envious of my sandwich. “It’s not just sliced turkey?” she said, awestruck. “It’s actually big pieces? Like Thanksgiving?”
Indeed, the thing was loaded-up with roasted turkey breast, pesto, lettuce, tomato, avocado and sprouts on jalapeño cheese bread. The jalapeño cheese bread was a nice, spicy curveball that really made the sandwich.
Sara went with pure comfort food: a cup of tomato bisque for $3.50 and a grilled cheese sandwich for $2.95, perfect for dipping.
Of our two soups, the broccoli cheddar was better, with a creamy texture and a taste that was simple but perfect. The tomato bisque was a little watery but still well worth the time and stomach space. Both orders came sidelined with a crisp little strawberry vinaigrette salad, and our server brought us some fresh, chocolate-chip cookies for dessert.
The food’s impressive, but what really seems to make this place is the service. The service is süper.
There’s no question their primary market is the business luncheon crowd: They close daily at 4 and are closed Sundays, so you see a lot of shirts and ties. But I’d bet they’d be just as friendly if you showed up in your Motörhead T-shirt.
And don’t bother to say hello, just say “soup.” They’ll understand.