Souplantation in Rancho Bernardo a family favorite for many
By Pat Kumpan
Looking for a scrumptious salad, made-from-scratch hearty soups, muffins, foccacia, breads or tasty entrees and desserts? Then Souplantation in Rancho Bernardo, with its tempting selection of food, might be the right place for you.
After opening in 1993, the RB eatery, located at 17210 Bernardo Center Drive, has become popular with diners of all ages, from senior citizens to babies. In fact many of those youngsters, now adults, continue to select Souplantation as their favorite place to enjoy a meal, said Assistant General Manager Tatiana Penix.
“We have a few Souplantation ‘babies’ who now have families of their own and continue to stop by for a meal,” Penix said. “Macaroni and cheese continues to be a favorite among kids.”
It’s not unusual to see entire families, often including grandparents, chatting while enjoying a nutritious salad from a self-serve bar, or being served hot, steamy soup or other taste treats.
“Everything is completely fresh, made on the premises,” Penix said. “If we run out of an ingredient, we never buy from a local grocery store because we can’t guarantee the quality of the item.
“Values are really important to us,” she added. “We connect with our guests and offer fresh, wholesome food and unexpected service.”
The social aspect, camaraderie and chance to catch up on the latest highlights of the week are some of the reasons four generations of Poway’s Decoteau family enjoy their Sundays together at the RB Souplantation.
Matriarch Ginny Decoteau has one word for the Souplantation salads she enjoys, “Yum.
“I’m on Weight Watchers, but I can still enjoy my big salad (at Soup Plantation),” she added.
Daughter Beth Decoteau Fornier said bringing kids to Souplantation is a good way to introduce them to vegetables.
The variety of salad ingredients range from Thai noodle and peanut sauce, poppy seed coleslaw, baja beans and cilantro, wild rice and chicken, whole grain fiesta couscous to fresh veggies and fruits.
The Flores family (mom Josie and dad Peter) of Rancho Penasquitos bring 4-year-old Lorenzo and his grandmother Rosalina Llana bi-monthly to the RB Souplantation for an enjoyable meal during their family outing.
Peter Flores says they come back for the great service, the food — and of course, the variety of salads.
“I love the clam chowder and my wife loves the creamy tomato soup,” he said.
October is Potato Month which offers diners an array of potato recipes, while November’s fare will be chicken pot pie and December will focus on a standard Souplantation tradition, turkey stew with stuffing.
Wondering how popular Souplantation soups are? Those in the RB Souplantation kitchen prepare 30 gallons of chicken soup daily. That soup is a favorite of customers, while in the salad category wonton chicken happiness salad reigns supreme.
While the La Mesa restaurant averages 1,600 diners daily, Kearny Mesa comes in a close second with the RB store tipping the scale with an average of 1,000 daily customers, Penix added.
Area senior citizens typically meet with friends at the RB Souplantation between 2-5 p.m. for a lively social hour while enjoying a salad they create at the self-serve bar, where salad tossers add fresh ingredients every hour.
“Some people (customers) come back for the food, others come back for the people (our employees),” Penix added.
Cashiers Heather Stone, a Poway High graduate, and Devin Edwards, a Rancho Bernardo High grad, love their jobs, they said. They gladly fall in step with their company’s emphasis on customer service, being cordial and friendly to guests, which shows in their smiles.
The Souplantation chain is made up of 126 nationwide salad buffet-style restaurants across the Western, Southern and Eastern portions of the United States and the corporate office is right here in Rancho Bernardo.
For those who want more details about specific nutritional value of Souplantation food, ask for the company’s free “Make It Fit” brochure, which contains estimated caloric counts and information to help identify vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low-fat and fat-free items.
They also offer the Veggie Club, which provides several coupons valid for one adult meal at 50 percent off with a purchase of one regularly priced meal with two beverages.
Contact the store at 858-675-3353 for more information. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
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