A chef friend (i.e., someone trained on costing/inventory/pars, etc.) swears by both the iced tea bar and soup bar at Rico’s/Poor Richard’s
as one of the best values in town. Not only are they affordable — $2.50/unlimited refills from eight tea selections, and $8.65 for a large, 20-ounce soup mug (single serving, smaller sizes available, seven choices, includes a nice house focaccia roll or GF bread substitution) — but most options of each are organic, and many gluten-free as the soups go, with optional barley or pasta shells to toss in. Taking a lead from said chef pal, I mix spicy roasted organic corn chipotle chowder with a Thai veggie top-off, fusing into a potent powerhouse of earthy and vegetal flavors — damn good soups. At the tea bar I’m like a kid making a “suicide” drink at a soda fountain, mixing sure-fire combos of peach, strawberry-green, black lychee congou, and spearmint and blood orange tisanes (loose leaf herbal infusions). I skip a sweet tea and love that the others remain un-sugared.