Already a megastar ITP, Jenny Levinson’s Souper Jenny 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.
Levinson 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 Rd, 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. Levinson 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 is. 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 to the Roz. 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 AM 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. You can follow her Facebook page for the latest soup updates.
Check out Joe Duffy’s Atlanta Grubber restaurant podcast in which he reviews gems all over town.