Soup Market Spectator & Cornbread Connoisseur

When you walk into the Public Market, the place seems very overwhelming with its countless vendors, people, smells, and foods. With all of the appetizing food choices, choosing a place to eat is quite a task. Even having been to the Public Market several times prior to this, I couldn’t make up my mind where to eat so I tagged along with some friends who raved about the chili and cornbread muffins at the Soup & Stock Market.

When we arrived at the storefront, I was a bit overwhelmed by the many soup options so I just said that I would have the same as my friends. The chili was very delicious and spicier than I expected which was unfortunate since I ran out of water. Like my friends had told me, the cornbread muffin was better than any other cornbread I’ve ever eaten. It had an amazing consistency and held together like no other cornbread.

After our meal, we decided to go back to Soup & Stock to ask about the place, but more specifically the cornbread. We were greeted by Frank (aka. Fransisco) the employee at the front counter. We started off the conversation by asking him the general question of what the most popular item on the menu is. We were surprised to hear that an African peanut soup was the winner and not the cornbread that we adored. We then asked more specifically about the cornbread and if there was a special recipe, but he didn’t know and said that they were actually made at their Bayview location along with the other bread they use for sandwiches. We then asked him what they made at this location. He replied that they make all of the stocks for their soups at this location and he even offered to show us behind the counter, but we felt a bit odd doing that so we refrained. Since we were so intersted in the cornbread specifically, we asked if the chili and cornbread were a popular pairing. He said many do just come for the cornbread without getting soup and regularly do this. After our discussion about the cornbread, we wanted to end by asking him what his favorite menu item was. Again we were surprised when he answered the chicken cesar wrap rather than a soup or the cornbread muffin.

This interview was very eyeopening for my friends and I because we realized that not everyone was as big of cornbread muffins as we were. I also learned how paying attention to my surroundings, asking questions, and actively listening can be crucial to gain information. When I arrived at Soup & Stock’s storefront with the intention of creating questions, I payed much more attention to my surroundings and noticed things that would help me with the assignment like the pot of chicken stock behind the counter. I also payed attention to the way they were prepping the soup in the work station. These observations then assisted my questions which helped guide the interview. Getting feedback on my questions from Lori was also very beneficial. Because of her experience with writing and interviewing those in the culinary world, Lori knew the best and most engaging way to write about food and how to ask people questions. When it was time to return and ask Frank questions, it was much simplier and conversational because of her advice. Finally, during the interview, I took more time to listen to let Frank speak. I found that by letting him speak without interruption, he seemed more comfortable and revealed more about himself and the business. All of these aspects made writing about the experience much easier.

So cornbread muffins may not be the most popular menu item at Soup and Stock Market, but they are in my heart. It’s amazing what a simple question about a cornbread muffin could lead to.

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