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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

SOUP’S ON — AGAIN!: “We want people to have a lovely dining experience. When you come in, we want it to be a really nice atmosphere. You will always have quality service; you will always have a quality meal.” Lisa Ruddy, co-owner of Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company, is seated in the restaurant’s outdoor bistro dining area.

Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company Opens and Offers Delightfully Tempting Choices

Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company at 30 Palmer Square East has recently opened, replacing the Original Soup Man, after a month-long hiatus. The lively new eatery has customers lining up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it’s easy to see why.

Owners Lisa and Scott Ruddy, who also owned The Original Soup Man, have energized the restaurant and inspired new combinations of great homemade soup, sandwiches, and salads, and at enticingly lower prices. They have introduced dozens of tempting new tastes, plus “Build Your Own” sandwiches, festive frankfurters, and delicious Belgian fries.

The Original Soup Man had been a big success, but the franchise arrangement didn’t offer the Ruddys complete independence. “We had an opportunity to break out on our own,” explains Ms. Ruddy, a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, whose background is in sales. “It’s not all that different. You’re on your feet, dealing with the public, working long days — it’s about pleasing the public and a lot of long hours.

“We were only closed one month,” she continues, “and it was a whirlwind of activity.”

Projects included redesigning the menu and the decor. The vibrant orange and black motif will please Princeton University students and alumni, and the cozy indoor counter and outdoor bistro seating attracts all ages.

“We had noticed that people wanted to build their own sandwiches, so we added that to the menu, and it’s hugely popular,” adds Ms. Ruddy. “You can choose your own bread, protein, cheese, toppings, and spreads.”

Specialty Sandwiches

Selections include multi-grain whole wheat roll, rye bread, sourdough bread, roasted turkey, roast beef, ham, tuna and chicken salad, a variety of cheeses, and many toppings and spreads — from avocado and hot pepper to onions, pickles, and mayonnaise.

Specialty sandwiches are toasted turkey Reuben on rye with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing; eggplant parmesan, with fried eggplant, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Italian seasonings, served on a seeded roll.

Also popular is the chicken parmesan with fried chicken tenders, mozzarella, parmesan sauce and Italian seasonings, also served on a seeded roll.

The gazpacho sandwich — a vegetarian’s delight — features cucumber, cherry tomato, red onion, fresh basil, fresh mint, mozzarella, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

There is also the traditional favorite grilled cheese on sourdough white bread.

The hot new item is frankfurters for every taste — not just for kids, although they love them, along with the chicken tenders and Belgian fries. The selection includes classic hotdog, chili dog, Princeton tiger dog, “Newton” dog (“named for our landlord David Newton — it’s his favorite: a kosher turkey dog, with avocados, tomatoes, and pickles”), Chicago dog, and “Three Little Piggies” or kosher gobblers — three Vienna beef or kosher turkey frankfurters with yellow mustard and sauerkraut).

The hot dogs continue to fly out of the restaurant, says Ms. Ruddy.

50 Varieties

The homemade soups are also huge sellers. Fifty different varieties are rotated, with nine available on a given day. The number one favorite is lobster bisque, although there are many others in demand, such as ginger, carrot and artichoke; black bean, Mexican fiesta, and chicken sausage jambalaya, to name just a few.

Customers also have an opportunity to “Build Their Own” salads, another popular choice. Added to a bed of romaine is a variety of cold cuts (all Boar’s Head), toppings, including black olives, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, hot peppers, celery, etc. and any of many cheeses and dressings.

Other salads include New England Cobb, gazpacho, Mediterranean, beet and goat cheese, and Caesar’s.

Lunch and dinner time are especially popular at Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company, but breakfast is a must for many regular customers. The egg sandwich on a roll, with cheese, turkey, ham, or bacon; muffin, fruit, and yogurt parfait are all a great way to start the day.

The Belgian fries are favorites with everyone all day, and dipped into the chipotle mayonnaise, they are a taste to remember!

Homemade muffins and cookies are baked on the premises daily, and there is a choice of fresh brewed iced tea, hot coffee, bottled waters, and the very popular freshly-made fruit smoothies.

Informal Gatherings

Ms. Ruddy reports that the restaurant has also added catering, specializing in informal gatherings. “We do corporate and residential catering, and we’ll bring platters to the location. Soups, sandwiches, salads, and mini Boar’s Head hot dogs are all popular. We are beginning to get very busy with catering.”

Delivery to homes and offices is also available, as is curbside delivery service. “Just tell us in advance, and we will have it ready. You don’t even have to get out of your car.”

Ms. Ruddy is delighted that so many former customers have continued to enjoy Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company. “We have lots of regular customers, with many people coming in every day. I like to be here to meet the people. Many are friends now.

“This is my own — my little space on the corner, and I love it — I look forward to coming to work in the morning! I like business in general. I like the challenge of business, and I like it when it’s really busy here, when the customers are lined up. I like the hands-on, and we have always had a great staff.

“I came one day as a customer, sat outside, and had a great time. That’s how I want it to be for all of our customers. The people of Princeton have been so generous and gracious in welcoming us back. They say they are so glad it’s still us. We look forward to being here for a long time.”

Gift cards are available, and prices range from hot dogs at $2.25 to $3.99 for a small salad or soup to $5.99 for sandwiches. Soups — excluding lobster and crab bisque — have been discounted 35 percent.

The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 to 8.

(609) 497-0008, fax (609) 497-0088, and website:, and email:

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