Without proper attention, taste buds can easily turn into viciously passive-aggressive taste frenemies. Keep your tongue from gossiping behind your back with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of fresh soups and healthy café fare at Liquid Lunch on Research Drive or Howe Avenue in Shelton, or in Milford.
Fred and Michele Bialek, owners of Liquid Lunch, fill the healthy lunchtime void with a continuously shifting menu of artisan soups, salads, and sandwiches, earning them a spot on Connecticut Magazine's Best of Connecticut 2010 list. Sustenance seekers can inhale aromatic steam as they peruse the up to 12 freshly simmering soups of the day, with menu standards such as split pea with ham or vegetarian lentil alongside specials such as curried chicken. Celebrate the harvest or terrifying headless horsemen with the pumpkin soup ($3.75/8 ozs). Pen PG-13 limericks for the Nantucket salad ($7.99) while savoring its granny smith apple slices, goat cheese, and house-made candied almonds atop spinach. Whole Sammiches, such as the Biloxi, which wrangles a comforting combination of southern-style meat loaf, caramelized onions, and a healthy helping of ketchup, are served on your choice of bread, prepared panini-style or on freshly baked loaves ($6.49).
Having already earned back-to-back spots on Connecticut Magazine's Best of Connecticut in 2009 and 2010, Liquid Lunch keeps bellies full and spoons out of the unemployment line with a slurp-worthy twist on midday meals. Culinary Institute of America graduate and owner Fred Bialek and his wife, Michele, were inspired to open the first Liquid Lunch in 2004, when they'd grown tired of lunchtime standards such as pizza, burgers, and lightly salted printouts of old PowerPoint presentations.
Today, at Liquid Lunch's still-growing roster of locations, a rotating lineup of gourmet soups cascades across the menu alongside six staple soups, including vegetarian lentil and split pea with ham. For an extra crunch, diners can plunge fork-first into salads, or explore healthy Sammiches, which escort taste buds around the globe with names influenced by their ingredients and spear-pickles engraved with necessary passport information.