By Joe Duffy
The most delayed premieres in recent Roswell lore are Moksha (which, due to the construction nightmares that engulfed them after they opened never had a chance), Peach & the Porkchop, Ricky’s Fish Camp, and Souper Jenny. The latter has at long last unlocked her Roswell location.
Already a megastar ITP, Jenny Levison broadened her mini-empire to 589 Atlanta Street in Roswell near the Roswell Mill. Technically, she moved her Decatur location to the northern section of the dining toothsome twosome of Alpharetta-Roswell. Roswellians may raise an eyebrow upon gathering she departed Decatur because of the parking disaster. As restaurant powerbroker and activist Ryan Pernice, founder of RO Hospitality will be the first to tell us, downtown Roswell isn’t exactly kind to parking. However, the Roswell Mill area is more parking-friendly than nearby Canton Street.
Levison is renowned for her turkey chili, “My Dad’s Turkey Chili” to be exact. Guess what I tested initially? Duh. This “Souper Jenny tradition for 20 years” is without question signature-worthy and better than most beef versions.
With Mitch’s Meats traditional, Never Enough Thyme’s Texas-style, and Souper Jenny’s turkey, AlphaRoz boasts different extraordinary chilis to choose amongst. Fickle Pickle also generates a distinguished conventional beef. All of the above should be invitees to the professional division of all eminent chili cookoffs.
Pardon me, while I not only love the chili I’m with but also lament no longer eating one I love. I too miss the Soup Chef on Roswell Road, just north of Northridge. They had a fantastic white bean creamy chicken chili. Keeping the restaurant’s demise into perspective, a tragedy, followed by petty business bickering, led to their closing. But if the actual soup chef (part of the business split) decides to return from Florida to North Sandy Springs, I’d be giddy.
Appreciate the forbearance, now back to Jenny. I asked Ms. Levison how many soups were in her portfolio. Yowza, she told me about 200. Jenny, I got your number, and I need to make all 200 mine.
Speaking of turkey—the turkey burger was better than one would imagine a turkey burger. Of course, as a purist, my favorite crab cakes are jumbo lump. However, Jenny’s Cajun crab cake sandwich added a perfect amount of filler for flavor. I didn’t detect any Cajun kick, but with a tasty remoulade sauce, it reminded me somewhat of my much-missed crab cake sandwich at Oak Street Cafe, once just down the road.
Jenny also has an excellent, daily day by day rotation of salads. Roswell resident Lyndsey Hayes is a fan of the salmon salad. “Everything tasted so fresh,” she said, while also extolling the fact the restaurant has “a little kids section with toys and books.”
Yes, I’ve already been asked to address the elephant in the room. How does Souper Jenny’s match with my all-time favorite soup and sandwich manufacturer Mitch’s Meats & Fish? Though nobody is likely to displace Mitch at the top of the heap, the truth is Jenny’s and Mitch’s are as dissimilar as two soup and sandwich spots can be.
I’ve been to Mitch’s hundreds of times and have been peering at Jenny’s daily updates ever since she announced she was disembarking Decatur. I have yet to see one overlapping sandwich or soup.
Souper Jenny’s is very vegetarian amiable, though this carnivore always has choices in both soup and sandwich classifications. In the summer months, for example, Jenny’s almost always has at least two gazpacho options, often the non-traditional one being a fruit.
Both the restaurant and owner are great additions to the Roz. Jenny is benevolent in the community. In turn, Roswell has embraced the somewhat hidden newcomer. I’ve noted lengthy lines commence not long after their 11:00 a.m. opening. However, the lines move expeditiously at this well-oiled machine.
As long-time fan Ming Han Chung sums up the quality and healthy balance, Jenny’s “never fails for a great meal that you don’t hate yourself after.” Souper Jenny’s is the quintessential balance of tasteful and healthy. Even I could pretend I’m a vegan here and actually eat quite well.
I say only half-facetiously that I will start commemorating my date of birth when I can start counting my age backward. My single annual requisition for my always low-key hatching anniversary is cupcakes from Cakes by Darcy. Trained at famed Rhodes Bakery, Darcy adds modern capabilities in elevating her creations to the next level. Her resume includes Chicago staples Bennison’s Bakery and Tag’s Bakery…
Rabbit cassoulet at Good Word Brewing in Parsons Alley was good. Their Fond IPA and DIPA Sleepwalker elevated the dinner. It’s never easy to stroll past O4W Pizza, but a craft brewery simplifies the challenge…
Speaking of Parsons Alley, yet another beautiful score by Alpharetta City, securing Crave Pie Studio as their newest tenant. Their second location is scheduled to debut hopefully weeks before the winter solstice. Crave does both sweet and savory pies extremely well…
I made my second trip to Swan Café in the Ellard Village Shopping Center in Roswell. The shami beef burger has Persian spices, wonderfully giving it a unique flavor. Yes, I’m a growing boy, and prefer my burgers heartier. But flat out, the quality and uniqueness make this among the best of a not-so-small list of best burgers in the area. Nearby Foundation Social Eatery’s mushroom ravioli is one of my fave vegetarian dishes ever. But owner Safoora Kamali puts out a praiseworthy one here. Shrooms are finely ground and ravioli topped with choice of pesto, creamy pesto, or marinara. FSE’s still my fave, but this is a hell of a vegetarian dish too.
American Pasta Factory, a good cheap eats option in Roswell, has gotten their liquor license. On October 17, they will be giving away free pasta with sauce to celebrate National Pasta Day.
When he’s not eating, which is rare, the author is CEO of Sports Handicapping website Offshore Insiders. His bride’s gift site, Duffy Gifts is the place to go for gifts for all occasions from My Thirty One Gifts.