From Yelp to Food & Wine to Jonathon's Bottom Line: The Making of a Beer Cheese Soup Star

Jonathon's Oak Cliff continues to generate buzz. Just as Eater almost awarded Jonathon Erdeljac chef of the year, November's issue of Food & Wine featured the casual restaurant's "Beer-and-Cheddar Soup."

I called Jonathon's wife Christine and asked her how the restaurant came to be featured in the glossy magazine. "I asked then the same thing," she told me. Christine wondered how the magazine found them when they'd only been open a few months.

"She told me she looked at our review on Yelp, and went with it," Christine said of Kate Krader, the Restaurant Editor for Food & Wine. The two talked dishes (Krader was smitten with the Danger Dogs, but thought soup was more applicable for a November issue) and Christine typed up a recipe.

I asked Christine if any changes had been made that would alter the soup one experiences while dining in her restaurant. "We cut it down to where it would serve six," she said, and told me Food and Wine's test kitchen made other small changes to the text of the recipe.

Beer Cheese became Beer-and-Cheddar Soup, and quantities like 1 cup of onion were switched to one small onion, finely chopped, to facilitate a novice cook's trip to the grocery store (what's a cup of onions look like in a produce bin, anyway?).

The article has garnered the Erdeljacs some attention. Christine says a few customers have asked to try the soup after seeing the recipe in the magazine. "We have a lot of people who walk in with the recipe ripped out and say they have to try it," she told me. "Even some folks from out of town."

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz