Last week, I ventured back to Soup’s Grill. One of my Cardinals ‘net friends, Sandi, was visiting from Jefferson City, MO and it was our first chance to meet in the non-virtual world. We were accompanied by our friend Emma, who writes the excellent blog Crzblue’s Dodger World here on this fine site.
We had a really fun day together. We went up to Santa Barbara and checked out the Mission
, had a awesome seafood lunch at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
, and tried the wines at Kalyra
. I’m a big fan of Kalyra’s winery in Santa Ynez (even before Sideways
made it famous
but this was my first visit to their Santa Barbara tasting room. It’s reminiscent of the Enchanted Tiki Room. I love the Kalyra vibe and the wine. We also took Sandi to Trader Joe’s as she had never experienced one. Sounds like they need to add more stores in MO!
Our day trip ended with dinner at Soup’s Grill. We didn’t really expect to see owner Jeff Suppan, so it was a pleasant surprise when I went to the bathroom and noticed him eating in the dugout booth with his wife and baby daughter. Sandi approached him politely, and he was very excited to meet a Cardinal fan from MO. Jeff proceeded to give Sandi a tour of the memorabilia in the restaurant and posed for pics with us. He even seemed to remember us from our last visit which was like 3 years ago and told a story about how he had autographed a menu for Emma but she had asked him to sign another one because the autograph was sloppy. I think he was kidding as Emma had no memory of this, and neither did I.
I’m really impressed with how generous Jeff is with his time. We apologized for taking him away from his dinner, but he didn’t seem bothered in the least and was excited to show off new additions to the restaurant. He even gave us autographed trading cards he’d had made up to promote the restaurant!
The food at Soup’s Grill is pretty much standard sports bar fare, but it’s really well-executed. The philly cheesesteak is one of their specialities, and it’s really good. I can’t think of a better one I’ve had outside of Philly. We also enjoyed the house-made tortilla chips that are Cardinal red, and the spicy salsa.
It’s a great place to watch games, and I’d definitely go more if I lived in the Valley. Happy hour specials are great, and Wednesdays are 35 cent wing night. Any baseball fan would love seeing all the memorabilia. One of my favorites is this signed pic of Jim Edmonds making a spectacular catch. Jim wrote on the pic: “Don’t hang this in the back somewhere. It’s probably my best ever.” So for fun, Jeff hung it in a back stairway.
Thank you, Jeff, for the hospitality. I would love to see you back in a Cardinal uniform, but until then, I’m glad to know I can find you at Soup’s Grill.
Also, congrats to my friend Emma for coming in at #25 on the top fan blogs of the season. Cardinal Girl came in at #52 – the reverse!