Hale and Hearty's buffalo chicken soup and salad

March 2020

When I see two buffalo items on a single menu, I only have one option: order both and see which burns the other away. Well, Hale and Hearty Soups had two buffalo items when I visited. I threw away my long-awaited plan of a giant bowl of clam chowder to pair them together.

Hale and Hearty's buffalo soup & salad

First up is the buffalo chicken soup. For some reason, the imediate taste is vegetables: tomato and celery. Why? Is this what hale means? Is this what you think is hearty?

Hale and Hearty buffalo chicken soup

There's spice, but it's mainly felt in the back of the throat upon swallowing.

As a buffalo chicken soup, you'd expect chicken to be heavily featured, perhaps in large chunks. It's not. The chicken is mostly shredded. The few chunks that are there are satisfyingly firm, so it's a real mystery why they didn't include more.

The main volume of the soup is carrots, celery, then the weird shredded chicken. Nice spice level, but not a buffalo flavor. Kind of a spicy chicken vegetable.

The best you can say about this soup is that it tastes healthy. And that's not much. 3/10.

On to the second part of the menu. If the buffalo chicken soup was hale, maybe the buffalo chicken salad is hearty.

Hale and Hearty's buffalo chicken salad

Lettuce is the base of the salad, but no one orders this for the lettuce. I only have to mention it because it's the main volume of the lettuce, and then to make an E. Coli reference.

Now let's move on. The dressing has to pull a lot of work here, providing both spice and cheese. It actually works?

Like many salad places, they put dressing on by pouring it on top of the salad, asking you to say "when". But who knows how many seconds of dressing they want? If I make a salad, I don't count my dressing by time; I put some on, mix it in, and see if I need more. Am I the weird one here? Yes, but am I wrong?

There's tomato. Why is there tomato? It's terrible. Who greenlighted the tomato here?

The chicken is breaded and cold. There's not a lot of it, and some of it is a little tough. It's slightly seasoned, which adds a light flavor. The breading is good, too.

If you can tell me which is hale, and which is hearty, you get a 10/10. This salad, on the other hand, gets a 6/10.