Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Taste of What’s to Come!

Souper Bowl

For the last several years, Mackle Park is where the Souper Bowl has been held and this year will be no different.

In just a few weeks the 8th Annual Souper Bowl will finally begin! For those who are unaware, the Souper Bowl is a charity event that takes place on Marco Island the day before the big football event. A total of 10 restaurants cater with a soup of their creation, which citizens attending the event are free to enjoy after purchasing a glazed bowl of their own. All funds earned from the event go to scholarships to help students in financial need.

Last month I talked about the people behind the event and the preparation they put into making the Souper Bowl a reality. This time, however, I will be talking about two important contributions to the event—the restaurants and the soup itself! In this issue, I will unveil the 10 restaurants catering to the Souper Bowl, and for a select few, give a sneak preview of the soup they will be bringing.

The first restaurant attendee you can expect to see is Petit Soleil. Located in the Shops of Olde Marco in 210 Royal Palm Drive, the restaurant is owned by Lisa Meurgue and her husband Denis. Petit Soleil has been known for its traditional breakfast items and guest favorites like their butter croissants, toasted baguettes, crispy waffles and a variety of eggs benedict, home-made hollandaise sauce, including one served with their homemade smoked salmon, and other delicacies.

The Meurgue’s have been contributing to the Souper Bowl event since day one. This will mark the 8th time they’ve done this. As Lisa Meurgue best said it, “We firmly believe in giving back to our community! Our community supports us, and we support our community! Event day is a lot of fun for us, especially for Chef Denis.” The Meurgue’s plan on serving an old favorite at the event: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup. A creation by Chef Denis Meurgue that’s topped with onion straws and whipped cream scented with Madeira wine.

Photos by Matthew Mendisana | A pair of unglazed dishes waiting to be fired up and turned into soup bowls to be purchased at this year’s Souper Bowl.

The next restaurant catering to the Souper Bowl will be Mangos Dockside Bistro. Lauren Ross’ family-owned restaurant, located on Marco Island at 760 North Collier Blvd # 109, has been contributing to the Souper Bowl for over 5 years now. Known best for its waterfront view and tropical atmosphere, along with an American Bistro menu with multiple choices while also including Sushi, a gluten-free menu and even a pet-friendly menu for puppies. Mangos will be contributing an old favorite to the event, a soup called Italian Wedding, a concoction of green vegetables and meat created by Chef Salvador Gomez.

The next one catering the event will be Stonewalls. Located at 551 South Collier Blvd, Stonewalls has become known as a “Fast Casual” type of restaurant, offering Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at a fair and low price. Stonewalls has participated every year at the Souper Bowl, and the soup they’ll be serving is one from their Daily Special menu: Loaded Potato Soup. With so many fancy broths at the event, Stonewalls believes that customers “need a warm and comfy alternative to our other soups.”

Our fourth restaurant is the Speakeasy. Since opening its doors in October 2014, this Chicago themed restaurant on the water has been serving numerous Chicago dishes—like their Italian beef sandwich, Chicago dogs, and deep-dish pizza—plus they even have their own tiki bar. When it comes to their community, however, they’re not ones to shy away. “We love to get involved with the community and support any way we can. We hold a lot of fundraisers at the restaurant and donate to various organizations.”

With the Souper Bowl fast approaching, the Speakeasy is gearing up with a soup that’s been popular with their customers. Prepared by the Speakeasy’s Chef, Nefi Arellano, they will be bringing Lobster Bisque, a smooth and creamy broth made from a crustacean.

Next up is a restaurant known as The Boulevard. This continental style restaurant, who just recently rebranded this year, can be found on Marco Island at 1000 North Collier Blvd #15. It’s owner and chef, Edgar Perez, is known for creating everything from scratch—as seen on The Boulevard’s menu for fish, pasta, vegetables and numerous gluten-free options—and their soup is no different. For this year’s Souper Bowl, Chef Perez will be bringing Lentil Soup.

As for the sixth restaurant, that would be the Italian Deli and Market. Since 1997, this restaurant out on 247 North Collier Blvd Suite 104, has been serving Italian favorites to locals and visitors of Marco Island. As the crew at the Italian Deli and Market put it, “We are dedicated to pleasing our customers and providing high quality, authentic, and homemade Italian foods. Visit our website at www.marcoislanditaliandeli.com or call us at 239-394-9493.”

Believe it or not, however, this will be the first year the Italian Deli and Market contributes to the Souper Bowl, and they couldn’t sound more excited. “We love attending this event and are proud to be able to participate this year! Marco Island is a wonderful community and it is our pleasure to be able to support great events like this one.” As their first-time contribution their cook, Tyler Scarpa, will be whipping up a creamy soup that comes with an Italian twist: Potato and Pancetta soup

The remaining four restaurants you can expect to see at the Souper Bowl this year will be CJ’s, the Island Country Club, the Hilton, and Quinn’s on the Beach (from the JW Marriott). As for what they’re bringing to the event, they prefer to keep that to themselves until the event begins, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to find out for yourself. All it will cost you is $15 for a bowl, then you’re free to help yourself to whichever soup you choose. As Lisa Meurgue aptly put it, “Please come out for a fun community event, supporting local students, pursuing their dreams! You won’t be disappointed!”

The next Souper Bowl will begin February 1st, 2020 at 11 AM. The event will be held in Mackle Park out on 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island. However, if you want to get a head start and purchase your own bowl ahead of time, then head on over to Mackle Park on January 31st, between 3 PM and 6 PM, to pre-purchase a bowl—though the price starts at $20. No matter how you plan on attending the event, just make sure you bring a charitable attitude, along with a big appetite.

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