by Sybil Kaplan
Photographs by Barry A. Kaplan
"Soup Festival" in the Lounge
Liberty Bell Park
Phone 02 675-6666
Hours: 12 noon to 10 p.m.
Sunday through Thursday
If you live in Jerusalem, love soup and want a wonderful eating experience this winter, the Inbal Lobby "Soup Festival" is the place to come until February 27, 2020.
We were hosted by Bracha, the evening manager; Chef Frank; and a wonderful, efficient, friendly group of wait staff.
This unlimited buffet for NIS69 includes 7 accompaniments: croutons, noodles, soup nuts, Parmesan cheese you grate yourself, and three new ones this year--tiny Bruschetta slices with tomato, tiny Bruschetta slices with pesto and pumpkin seeds.
There are five breads stacked on a shelf, with bread board and knife below--whole wheat, two with nuts, tomato bread and new, gluten free.
To go with the bread, there are 6 spreads--pesto spread, green salsa, tomato spread, schug (theYemenite spicy condiment), olive spread and a new carrot and garlic spread.
What is new this year are two shades of grey dinnerware--soup bowls and nice-size luncheon plates.
"Get to the soups, already!"
On the center island sit the large metal soup tureens and accompaniments and dishes.
Three soups change every day, but the two classics, Italian minestrone and French onion, are available every day.
The Italian minestrone has onions, celery, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, leeks, green beans, olive oil, garlic, potatoes and basil. I have to admit--it is my favorite!
The French Onion is superb and when you grate your own Parmesan cheese on top--oo, la,la.
Another of my favorites, new tonight was Beetroot--beetroot, onions, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, roasted arcichokes, green onions, olive oil and Canola oil. This has no obvious beets and is more like a vegetable soup, but the artichokes brought me back for seconds.
This is very personal, but the least favorite for me were the lentil soup and orange soup. The Lentil soup was creamy and pureed with lentils, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, leeks, olive oil, coriander and arsia (a Mediteranean pepper paste).
The Orange Color soup was creamy and pureed pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic, cream and olive oil.
One of the hostesses pointed out a"Surprise card" where one can order wine for NIS20 or after dinner coffee and cake for NIS33. The Lounge also has its own menu of a wide variety of other dairy foods.
After all the wonderful tastes of soup (everything is self-service so you take what you want and how much you want and unlimited steps to the table), we could not resist trying something from the dessert list explained by the manager.
We topped off this delicious meal with decaf cappucchino coffee; I had one of my favorite desserts, tiramisu; my companion chose his favorite, a thickly iced chocolate cake.
The author and photographer were guests of the hotel.