Soupergirl, a small, eco-friendly restaurant featuring homemade vegan and kosher soups and salads, has opened a new takeout store at 1829 M St., NW, in the former Yo-Cake location.
Known for its various gazpachos in watermelon, beet, peach and tomato, the shop offers five soups, warm or chilled, that change daily on a rotating schedule. All of the soups – starting at $6 — are plant-based, made up of fresh vegetables, beans, grains, herbs and spices, and have interesting names, which originate from the owner’s previous career as a stand-up comedian in New York City. In addition to soups, the menu includes green salads, grain salads, sides of bread and hummus, and desserts. It also features delivery and catering services.
The 750-square-foot site in the heart of the downtown business district is the second Soupergirl to hit Washington, D.C. The first, located on Carroll Street, NW, near the Takoma Metro Station, opened its doors in 2011, and is where all the food sold at both locations is prepared. Because of its smaller size, the new shop does not have the space for seating, but it features a counter window for customers to enjoy a quick lunch. However, the new takeout location offers a wider variety of soups each day than the Takoma store does.
Sara Polon, also known as “Soupergirl,” is the founder and owner of both locations. She decided to get involved in the local food movement after reading Michael Pollan’s book, “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and was inspired to create a restaurant that offers healthy dining options made from only the freshest seasonal ingredients, many of which are organic and grown on local farms. Her business began in 2008 as an online ordering system and has since developed into a popular lunch spot for Washingtonians on the go.
“This store is more of a ‘Soupergirl Express,’ ” Polon said. The takeout option is ideal for businesspersons who only have time to pick something up before eating lunch at their desk, she said, adding, “I am on a mission to provide good, healthy food to as many people in the area as possible.”
Polon’s success can partially be attributed to her mother, Marilyn, or “Soupermom.” She is responsible for crafting each recipe down to the final spice as well as cooking the soup from scratch each day.
The food at Soupergirl is kosher-certified by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom — The National Synagogue. The food is also certified by the Washington, D.C., chapters of Slow Food and REAL (Responsible, Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership) — organizations that promote restaurants that support local, seasonal and sustainable food sources in their kitchens.
“You’re going to feel clean when you eat this food,” Polon said. “You will recognize every item on the ingredient list.”
Soupergirl’s signature soups and salads are available in Whole Foods Market, eight Sweetgreen locations in the D.C. area and Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont Circle. The M Street shop is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, Friday. It is closed weekends and on Jewish holidays.