Hale and Hearty Soups (Rock Center)It’s no big secret that I don’t consider soup a true meal. Flavored liquid either belongs in a cup with ice, or in the appetizer section of a French restaurant. Lunch should really be in solid form. That said, I decided to give this place a try after many years of shunning the whole soup thing. I was honestly intimidated by their odd ordering scheme as well. There are like little colored dots next to each item, and women by the truckload sip samples out of little cups. It’s like the Soup Nazi meets 31 Flavors. I decided to try to get something a little more substantial than weak broth with some green crap floating in it. I got a Moroccan Chicken soup, which was kind of like a chili-type thing with Middle Eastern spices in it. As it turns out, you actually can make a meal out of soup–if that soup is really stuffed with meat and is paired with a sandwich or burrito or package of Ding Dongs. The most shocking part of the whole phenomenon is how expensive this crap is. I mean you can make soup by boiling old socks in water, so where’s the expense? It must be all those fancy noodles. [MF]

30 Rockefeller Plaza (Rock Center)