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Soup’s on: Tasty bowls at Doyle’s, The Swiss and the new Leila’s Deli in Tacoma

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Dec. 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm | 2 Comments »
December 22, 2010 3:58 pm
A recent daily soup special at The Swiss Tavern near the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

In the last month, I’ve dipped my ladle into the Korean soup soon doo boo, the Vietnamese soup pho, and the Japanese-Southeast Asian hybrid fusion ramen soup at Pacific Grill.

In the last few weeks, I’ve encountered even more soups worthy of your dining dollars. The creamy tomato at Doyle’s Public House, the salmon chowder at The Swiss Tavern and a delicious navy bean at the new Leila’s Deli in Tacoma. Click “more” to read about the soups.

YOUR TURN: Where do you go for good soup? Comment here, please.

This creamy tomato soup recently was a soup special at Doyle's Public House..

Doyle’s Public House
Where: 208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma
Phone: 253-272-7468

I’ve tried about half the menu, including the delicious Irish Guinness stew, at Doyle’s Public House, a small tavern serving elevated soups and sandwiches in the St. Helens neighborhood. Doyle’s is one of those restaurants that puts an extra tweak or touch on all its food. Meat in the restaurant’s sandwiches get a quick tour on a grill before being tucked into toasted bread. And I like that they serve soda bread from Corina Bakery (the best soda bread you may ever try). Doyle’s Cuban, which a TNT Diner reader Acehi turned me onto, is one of the best I’ve eaten of five I’ve already sampled for a report I’ll be writing on Cubans in January.

On a recent visit to Doyle’s, the creamy tomato basil soup was sweet, fragrant rich, tangy and with just a lick of kicky spice (enough to feel on the back of the tongue). It was velvety smooth, save for a few stray bits of garlic and carrots. The soups change frequently at Doyle’s, so it’s probably not on the menu now, but you’ll find another soup to like at the restaurant. One constant: they make their own soups in house.

Leila's Deli in Tacoma makes its navy bean soup with Black Forest ham.

Leila’s Deli
Where: 402 E. 26th St., Tacoma
Phone: 253-627-8213

Leila’s opened in July in a store below Crystal Voyage near the Tacoma Dome. The restaurant serves paninis, soups and has a salad bar (watch for a story on their sandwiches Monday). When I popped in recently to try the paninis, a navy bean soup caught my eye. The soup itself was a bit watery, but the flavor was thick. Bobbing in the broth were large chunks of Black Forest ham swimming with bits of carrots, onions, celery and creamy navy beans. The soup was a daily special. All their soups are made fresh every day, in house.

A recent daily soup special at The Swiss Tavern near the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

The Swiss Tavern
Where: 1904 Jefferson Ave. Tacoma
Phone: 253-572-2821

The Swiss may not be a restaurant in your lunch rotation, but it should be. If you don’t go for the Bob’s Mt. Rainier or Swiss burgers (I’ll be writing about those soon), you should sample a sandwich. Soup or salad comes with your sandwiches. A recent visit found a salmon chowder that was thick, creamy and dosed with a pleasant hit of fish broth (but it wasn’t permeating or fishy). The creamy broth suspended large chunks of salmon, carrots, onions, red potatoes, thyme and crunchy bits of corn. And was that sherry we tasted in the broth?

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