Sunday, July 18, 2010

Very Intense Soup!

Friday was a very fun day! I was meeting Michele Northrup of Intensity Academy in Ybor City for lunch at the Stone Soup Company. We were meeting some other friends, but we arrived early so we could stroll through some shoppes and build up our appetite for lunch. We had some fun trying on sunglasses at Le France and also made some purchases at Agora.

We arrived at The Stone Soup Company and I was pleasantly greeted with a Welcome Afternoon Delight sign. I was quite giddy the rest of the afternoon! Several of the other ladies were already there, but we were quickly joined by Stephanie Frangiapane Rowley, Dolce Debbie who owns a luxury travel company specializing in Italy and Sandra McKenna from Midlife Road Trip. The ladies had a fabulous time with Ilya.

Ilya Goldberg is the owner and was very accomodating for us by opening the restaurant early. He wasn't scheduled to open until after the weekend. We had the option of picking two items from the following list: lobster bisque, veggie borscht, Greek Salad, Caesar Salad or a panini with your choice of ingredients. I opted for the lobster bisque and Greek Salad while Michele had the lobster bisque with a panini. The lobster bisque was heavenly. I could have eaten 4 more bowls! The Greek salad was made with homemade potato salad as well as homemade dressing. One of the ladies stated that the veggie borscht reminded her of her own grandmothers' soup.
Just look at the huge pieces of seafood in that bowl!

As we were enjoying our delicious bowls of soup, we were discussing which one of Michele's hot sauces would best compliment the flavors. Intensity Academy is an all-natural specialty sauce developer that started in 2007. In 3 short years, they have already won 45 national awards including a Scovie Award for the best condiment for their Chai Chiptole Chup. They currently have 11 different sauce flavors. The products are all natural carrot based and have ZERO transfat.

Click here for an outstanding recipe - Chai Chipotle Cocktail Post Exam Party Platter. Yummy!

One of my favorite products is the Garlic Goodness. Well, actually, I would have a hard time if I could only choose one - as I love the Chai Thai Teriyaki Sauce, the Garlic Goodness and the Gourmet Green Tea. While reviewing the website, though, I happened upon some lollipops that I cannot wait to try! There are two different flavors available. You can enjoy it as a snack or stir it in your green tea for some spicy flavor. How fun is that?

Michele is currently writing a cookbook called "Saucy Goodness," which will be available very soon! Her motto is "Creating flavors to make the world a saucier place to live, one bottle at a time" and Michele definitely is a very saucy lady!

You can order the products online at http://www.intensityacademy/ or they can be purchased at select retailers throughout the Bay Area.

After we ate our lunch, we were given a choice of either gelatto or fruit sorbetto. With Michele's recommendation, I chose the banana praline gelato. The Stone Soup Company is the exclusive place in Ybor to serve Stefano's. Stefano's Gourmet Desserts offers only "artisan" style (made from scratch) gelatto and sorbetto. It was magnificent! The pralines were big and tasty! I cannot wait to go back to Ybor and stop in for this decadent treat.

Ilya told us the story of the Stone Soup. The soldiers came into a town and were very hungry. They went door to door asking for food and since the people had very little, they would not give the soldiers any food. Finally the soldiers went to the middle of the town, took a big pot and started boiling water. They put a stone in the bottom of the pot. A little boy came and asked them what they were doing and was told they were making stone soup. The child replied that you could not make soup without spices and went home and brought back some herbs. Then a lady came by and said they could not make coup without meat, then another person brought carrots. Soon the soup was simmering and the smell filled the small town. The people did not even realize that they had all come together to create something that the whole village could enjoy.

The Stone Soup Company has started a "two compaign." For every cup of soup sold, a cup will be given to charity. Ilya is a marvelous man and I look forward to visiting his establishment over and over.

Stop in - where their motto is "More soup for you!"

1 comment:

  1. I have been in FL for 8 years now, and have yet to visit Ybor... sad, right? Now, I MUST go - if only for the lobster bisque!!