I’m back! Being almost settled into my new apartment in sunny Los Angeles means finally having some breathing room to finish writing about the last five soups.
The night JM and I went to Sripraphai, my original plan was to do a Queens soup marathon and go to Sripraphai, Tropical and Tortilleria Nixtamal. I only had a few days left before I was moving to LA, so I was trying to bang them out, especially since it’s not easy trekking out to various Queens locations. But I realized quickly that I was being unrealistic. JM and I had a lot more packing to do, and we just didn’t have the energy or time to be going on a soup tour. So we decided to eat at Sripraphai only, and I would finish the rest of my journey during my short NYC biz trip two weeks later.
As I lugged my very full stomach back to the train station, I noticed a sign – Tropical! Was this the same restaurant I was supposed to try in a different location? I studied the menu and then googled it, and, yes, it was. Hallelujah!
I ordered the Caldo de Bola (or Sopa de Bola de Verde) ($9.99) – a traditional soup from the Coastal region in Ecuador – to go. There was just no way I could eat anymore. Even in the wee hours of the morning, after some more packing, I didn’t burn any of the Thai food off. So I heated some up the next day for dinner.
The meaty and cilantro-y broth was filled with huge chunks of carrot, corn on the cob, beef and yuca. But, as big as these ingredients were, they were overshadowed by the canon ball-sized “meatballs” which were actually green plaintain dumplings filled with ground meat, diced carrots, green peas and pieces of egg. I thought I had seen and tasted it all until I opened up these hidden treasures.
It was a delicious discovery, but the dumplings were extremely tough to eat with a wimpy plastic spoon that almost broke when I tried to dig in. Had I not packed my spoons already, I would’ve been able to gobble the soup up a lot more quickly. I’ll take it as a lesson that I should eat more delicately…like the lady I am.
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