OCEAN CITY N.J. – In the middle of another brutal heat wave, there are few places on Earth where dozens of people will go to order hot soup for lunch – in a restaurant without air conditioning, no less!
But I sometimes can be found among those on a hot summer noon happily slurping a cup of the Varsity Inn’s locally famous baked tomato soup.
What I sweat is whether they’ll sell out before I get my white bowl containing the delicious elixir topped with tasty croutons and a hint of melted cheese.
The restaurant makes a really good grilled cheese, too, which can be dipped for an amazing soup-and-melted sandwich moment.
You almost forget it’s 100 degrees outside – and inside, where proprietors throw open the front windows to create a cute little sidewalk lunch counter– and people-watch the locals and tourists visiting the 600 block of East Eighth Street, where breakfast and lunch has been served for decades.
As someone in favor of canonizing the inventor of air conditioning, I do wonder whether the cooks would consider a gazpacho now and then.
Or would that just throw off the entire white bread-and-butter vibe entirely?