Tag Archives: Tropical Restaurant

46 of 50 “Tastiest” Soups in NYC – Tropical Restaurant’s Caldo de Bola: A Soup with Hidden Treasures

MY TASTEFUL OPINION:  Lots of flavor.  A variety of ingredients.  It’s like a farmer’s market in a bowl.

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.

Tropical’s Caldo de Bola

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.

67-22 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377

Other Locations

88-19 Jamaica Ave.
Woodhaven, NY 11421

36-10 Greenpoint Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101

62-27 Fresh Pond Rd.
Middle Village, NY 11379


Over $10 – These soups should have a gold leaf in them.

$6 to $10 – You’re not shellin’ out the gold, but also not gettin’ super lucky.

Under $6 – It’s your lucky day!