It seemed like a genius plan: open a second Burma Superstar just blocks from the first, severely over-crowded Burma Superstar. But like so many genius plans, it went a little south.
The thing to know about Burma Superstar is that all the hype and the two-hour wait for a table and the indie darlingness of it are not wrong. B.S. offers a samusa soup which can kill you with its flavorful goodness. You have to come prepared for it or it will knock your socks off so hard that your feet will come with it and you’ll bleed to death. It’s a serious soup, for serious people. I mean, I don’t even like soup, but this soup I would kill for. I wouldn’t kill a family member or anything, but I would definitely kill a stranger.
The thing that makes the soup so deadly delicious is the combination of spices. I have no idea what they are, because I am a crappy cook and can tongue-identify only the three spices I know how to use. It’s definitely not basil, or salt. So I have to assume it’s cinnamon, the third spice I sometimes cook with. (It may also be cardamom. I think I had that in a tea once.)
The point here is this: on Friday, Michele and Christine and I tried B. Superstar’s new spin-off, B*. There’s a bunch of new stuff on the menu there, and some old favorites are missing, but they do offer the soup, so naturally Michele and I ordered it. We each grabbed hold of our socks with one hand and our spoons with the other and dug in.
I guess after all this build-up, I don’t have to tell you that the soup was tragically, horribly different. It was spicy, yes, but the kind of spicy that burns your tongue without affecting your socks at all.
“It’s like they just dumped a bunch of chili powder in,” said Michele, who cooks with many kinds of spices and would know.
“The cinnamon flavor is gone,” I said mournfully.
The awesome waiter from the original place was in the new restaurant, so that was nice, and the main courses were just fine, and the decor was pretty, and the tea leaf salad was unchanged. But the soup…the soup is different. And Burma Superstar without samusa soup is ankles without feet. So I say, give them six months to get their chef trained before you try it; then we’ll see.
This is not my samusa soup.