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Veggie Girl: Parsley

A few months ago, Adam Cayton-Holland wrote a blog about an organic sandwich and salad place called Parsley that had just opened at 303 West 11th Avenue. I was intrigued not only by a lineup that seemed very vegetarian-friendly (with four vegetarian sandwiches and four salads), but also by the promise of fresh, organic soup soon to be added to that menu.

I'd since walked by the place a few times, but I couldn't tell if Parsley had actually added soup, and the website didn't mention anything, either. I tried calling, but Parsley doesn't answer the phone during business hours. Finally, I e-mailed the restaurant. Owner Jason Bailey quickly replied, and told me that Parsley does now offer two to three soups a day. He mentioned Mexican potato with roasted green chiles, Italian white bean with roasted tomatoes, pinto bean, a vegetable soup with fresh squeezed celery and spinach juice, and a miso soup with chopped spinach.

His list of delicious-sounding soups made me drool, and since soup is my cold-weather staple, I decided to sample some as soon as possible.

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Sadly, I hadn't bothered to ask if the soups were vegetarian, since I'd assumed that any place that caters to such a health-conscious, organic-seeking crowd would certainly have at least one vegetarian option each day. But I was wrong: When I stopped in on Tuesday, I learned that Jason uses chicken stock in everything but the vegetable soup. And since the vegetable soup is only offered a couple of days a week, there's a good chance you might stop by Parsley craving soup and end up with a sandwich -- which is what happened to me and my vegetarian friend.

I wound up ordering the Arcadia, which featured basil pesto, marinated portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, red onion and organic lettuce. The sandwich normally comes with goat cheese, but I was craving fresh mozzarella and Parsley happily switched out the cheeses for me. The bread, a freshmade ciabatta, was delicious, and the flavors in the sandwich went nicely together. But still, for $7, I was left craving something more -- maybe a side of chips, a small cup of potato salad or a pickle. Or some soup.

I've found fantastic vegetarian soups at Asian restaurants like Karma, Italian joints like Parisi and even at chain places like Spicy Pickle, so I was surprised not to find any at this small, local, organic take-out spot. 

I probably won't go back to Parsley for just a sandwich, but if this lunch spot decides to start catering to vegetarians on a more regular basis, I'd certainly try it again for a half sandwich and a cup of soup.

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