Original Soupman have you been?
Well, I actually went in 1987 to the "original" shack location on 54th Street, I think. About 3 weeks after it opened. A guy in our office came by at lunch raving about this place with the best soups he'd ever tried. Gave everyone a taste of crab bisque. Then came the drill about the "rules." And the warning that if you didn't order right, he wouldn't serve you. Seinfeld was actually very accurate as to what it was like in the beginning -- except the shop was so tiny, it was like a bunch of news-stands strung end to end.
Ok so I went today for the first time. The Place is very small with very few seats(only 4)
it was empty and really warm inside
I had a cup of the mushroom barley, it was good but nothing great and very expensive. The bread was boring and the fruit was under ripe. Overall I wouldn't rush back considering all the food places in livingston.
The soup is VERY good, but a bit pricey, as you know. We went to the one in Princeton. I got a lobster bisque, my wife got a broccoli cheese & we split a soda. The price: $17+. I must admit it was the best lobster bisque I ever had. Plus, we had it around 1:00pm. By dinner time I still was full!
i'm going to voice a (somewhat) dissenting opinion.
first, i prefer - believe it or not - the frozen seafood bisque to the in-person one.
second, i have no desire to return again...the new york city one (original shop, NOT the franchised shops was some of the most amazing food i've ever had, with flavors and if ordering seafood/chile, TONS of solid (seafood, etc.) in there.
having said that - if you've never had the original, it's worth a try. and if you want the recipe for the original seafood bisque, it's floating around on the web; with a little tweaking, you can recreate the lobster bisque on your own.