Soup nazi? Screw that!

Here I go again. I’m sitting here, just thinking (big mistake), deciding if I want some chinese food for dinner. There’s a damn good place in Albany that serves most excellent Szechuan, and I think I can handle a little spice tonight. :cool:
Trouble is, this “soup nazi” thing popped into my head. I’ve never seen it personally, but I hear that the character is based on real soup cafe, and that the owner is a real asshole and that people line up around the block for his soup. He was popularized on some tv show (figures). What gets to me is that I believe it. I believe that people will endure crappy service just to be hip. There’s a chinese place in San Francisco (name’s Nanking, IIRC) that has a rep for crappy service and pushing patrons out to empty the tables. I went there with my daughter’s family, and the service was brusk, but they weren’t that busy. The food was good, though. I understand that some chinese restaurants do have a different slant on service, but they’re not rude.
I’m just amazed that people go to a place and pay money to some idiot for crappy service, then brag about it. Come to think of it, the owner’s not the idiot, the patron is. Is there really a soup nazi?
mangeorge (Really hungry now)

Yes. Not only that, but I have had the pleasure of eating a bowl of lentil soup courtesy of this much maligned gentleman.

Tell ya what. He won’t miss my ten bucks, and I won’t miss his soup.
I read about a guy that sells caribou (I think) burgers at the Iditerod sled dog races every year. Makes enough to take the rest of the year off, he says. He seems like a decent sort. Next time I’m at the Iditerod, I may try a caribou burger.
Or were they slow-husky burgers?

Curious me just had to google Earl Snake-Hips Tucker. Is that the snake in his pants, or is he glad to see Ms Bessie Dudly? :stuck_out_tongue:
Coolest :cool: name, BTW.

Dunno why the old UK childrens show The Clangers just pooped up in my mind, maybe because of this character.

…and just in case…

Wow - I remember the Seinfeld thing, but I had NO idea that it was based on a real character.

Hmm, it sounds like a stressful, un-calm, un-fun way to get soup though. My vote is for the Soup Dragon - much nicer. :slight_smile:

Ahhhhh Soup Nazis

Are you talking about the House of Nanking in North Beach? And if so, are you kidding?

The guy could beat me about the head and neck with a manure-filled sock and I’d still keep going back, as long as I kept getting to eat that food. The first time I went there, I was thinking, “gee that was a long wait” and “this place is crowded and cramped” and “wow, that waiter was kind of a dick,” but as soon as I tasted the food, all was forgiven. When I finished, I thought, “I could die peacefully now, having known true bliss.”

I may be an idiot, but at least I’m a well-fed idiot.

Yep, SolGrundy, that would be the place. And no, I’m not kidding. Well, ok, the whole OP is kinda ;)y. I admitted the food was, ahem, good didn’t I?
If you haven’t tried it yet, next time you’re in the Berkeley/Albany area and hungry, try China Village in the 1300 (IIRC) block of Solano Ave.
I’ll second that review.

That sounds pretty good; I’ve yet to find a Szechuan place that I’m particularly impressed with. And to continue the Berkeley recommendations: there’s a Japanese restaurant in Berkeley called “Manpuku” on College Ave & Ashby. It’s a small, mostly counter-service restaurant, but they have several different varieties of ramen, all good, and katsu curry rice that is phenomenal.

Which reminds me that I have been to a real soup nazi place, in San Mateo. A bunch of friends were all excited to go to lunch at this ramen restaurant (I forget the name) that is supposedly the best ramen in the Bay Area. As in, people in Tokyo would recommend it if they heard you were from San Francisco. We had to meet at 11:30 to avoid the lunch crowd. Apparently, my being a few minutes late almost ruined everything, since the staff had almost refused to seat everyone until the entire party had shown up. We had to order quickly and I had no time to study the menu, so I just got the “original” on everyone’s suggestion. We were finally served the food and gently but firmly encouraged to hurry (the line had started forming outside the door by the time we were served).

And at the end of it all… it’s ramen. What could the big deal possibly be? There’s just not that much variety there, and there’s not a whole lot you can do to get it wrong. It was perfectly competent, but nothing spectacular. Now there was a case of all hype with no substance.

Personally I don’t care about service if the product is good enough. In addition, a grizzled “soup nazi” seems a more authentic person then the hordes of waiters/waitresses/servicefolk who have sewed the corners of their lips to their ears in an attempt to increase their tips (not that I have anything against tipping) I don’t need to feel socially fulfilled at every service encounter, I just want product/service X. In fact, I think it would be rather refreshing to have somebody be rude to me.

Yeah, I’d probably go to a place like that if I got the chance, and if there was a variety of soup that I thought I’d actually like. :wink:

From my own impressions of the Seinfeld episode, most of the people lining up didn’t seem that unimpressed with the service. The guy had a set of rules that he expected his customers to spread by word of mouth, mostly oriented around getting as many people their soup as possible in a set amount of time from a small takeout location. He didn’t even seem particularly mean until some of the irrepressible members of the gang started to give him backtalk, just stern. :slight_smile:

Hey - get off my toes!

I don’t know if it’s still there: Wong-Kees(?) in London’s China Town, a restaurant that was famously impolite to customers, people would go just to experience the rudeness. I don’t remember it being that bad.

I too have had the sadomasochistic experience of Nanking. Delicious, delicious food and being made to feel less welcome than the cockroaches, all rolled up in one. I’d go back, though.


How was that? :wink:
No, I don’t expect or want bowing and scraping. I do, though, appreciate the same level of courtesy I generally afford.

A past gf (who is chinese) told me that often when the chinese staff is yelling back and forth in that sort of place, they were saying not-so-n ice things about the customers. You know, us. :stuck_out_tongue:
And she said they didn’t really care if she translated for me.
Ever been in the kitchen of a busy chinese restaurant, one with 6 cooks, or more? How long afterward did your ears continue to ring.