The best known thing about Back Street Bistro is chef/owner David Jacoby's commitment to soup, something he's been specializing in so well for so long that the restaurant has won numerous "Souper Bowl" titles and Jacoby has been compared (favorably) to


's Soup Nazi. While most restaurants have one

soup du jour

on the menu, this place offers between eight and 10 every day. Hungarian mushroom and vegan Italian vegetable might share the spotlight with mulligatawny stew, and they are always available by the cup or bowl. Getting your soup by the cup gives you more room for a half sandwich, something we highly recommend. If you ever stayed home from school sick and had someone make you a cup of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, Back Street Bistro will make you wish you still wore footy pajamas. This is simple, homestyle food for those occasions when a week of green curry, saag paneer, menudo and babaganoush has got your mouth poised for a meltdown.

513 Camino de los Marquez, 982-3500.

Lunch Monday through Saturday. $. No alcohol.