Allow us to begin with a small thought experiment. You've been hired by a large marketing agency, and you’ve been tasked with creating a brilliant viral marketing campaign somehow related to the current state of food culture in New York. They’re thinking a pop-up, maybe? Something like that, but you know, a fresh take. “We want Alex From Target, but for food!” they say. The budget is pretty good, but they also want you to profit on this. Let's brainstorm a bit. Here's the proposal we'd probably put together:
1. Specialize in a single item.
2. Make that item something that everyone likes, but which, somehow, no one else has ever thought of selling as a standalone item previously.
3. Make it something that will make people say, "Wait, really?"
4. Followed by, "Oh! I'd be into that. When can we go?"
5. Make the item kind of old school.
6. Connect it to an already established and beloved restaurant.
7. Serve the item in a slightly unconventional container, but one that also totally makes sense.
8. Add in some sort of funky, contemporary toppings to modernize the thing.
9. Convince people there are vague but excellent health benefits to be had.
Congratulations. Together, we have just created Brodo.
Brodo is a small window attached to the East Village mainstay Hearth, and it serves broth. The broth gets served in coffee cups, and there are three flavors: chicken broth, gingered beef broth, and Hearth broth - a combination of beef, chicken, and turkey bones. If you add toppings (turmeric, chili oil, and beets are among the options), a large will run you just over $10, while a small (depending on the flavor) is just under five bucks. Apparently, it is the new green juice.
Anyway, you wanted to know about the soup? It's good. Consider this: a seasoned restaurant is dedicating part of its kitchen to making hot broth to sell to people standing out in the cold. Of course it's going to be pretty good.
Here's the catch: Brodo is real.
... Or is it?
We thought about how to categorize Brodo on the Infatuation — should we add a Perfect For "Broth" category? And we also thought about how to rate Brodo. But what exactly are we supposed to compare it to? Until we hear a convincing case that Brodo isn't punking us, or until there are so many broth shops that it's like the Frozen Yogurt Wars of 2009, we're leaving Brodo in a category of its own. Broth. It's what's for dinner. Or afternoon snack. Or whenever it is you're supposed to eat broth.
The heartiest and richest of the soups, the Hearth Broth is made from a combination of chicken, turkey, and beef bones.
Certainly an upgrade from a cup of Campbell’s. We got this with chile oil, which we don’t recommend, because the oil all floated to the top. We did enjoy it with turmeric.
Not too rich, but still flavorful. This one’s our favorite.