Thursday, February 25, 2010

Soup Sunday Strategy

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM

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Pop quiz, hot shot. It’s Soup Sunday. You’ve got more than 25 soups (not to mention desserts, breads, and other treats) to taste between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., while working through a crowd of 2,000-plus at the FedExForum.

What do you do? What do you do?

Hungry Memphis asked Half Shell owner Danny Sumrall for some Soup Sunday strategy. He should know a thing or two, as he helped found the event 21 years ago.

According to Sumrall, the first thing you should do is get there early. The second: keep moving. That first restaurant you see is probably the first restaurant everyone else sees, hence that long, long line.

He recommends making your way deeper into the event and taking advantage of those purveyors who aren’t so busy.

Another approach: “Walk around the event one time,” he says, “and determine the items you really want to try. Then keep moving as rapidly as possible.”

Sumrall says if you get to sample a dozen of the dishes offered, well then, “That’s a pretty good meal.”

And, Sumrall adds, it’s all good. “Restaurants are putting out products they’re most proud of. They’re drawing potential customers.”

The Half Shell has been a consistent “People’s Choice” winner for its lobster and shrimp bruschetta. So what’s the secret?

“I’ve got two secrets,” Sumrall says. “First, bring something really good. Second, bring enough that we surely don’t run out.”

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