The "Rhythm Chicken" becomes a Door County restaurateur
EPHRAIM – The "Rhythm Chicken" has surfaced, operating a soup restaurant in Door County. Remember the guy who would show up on street corners and in the South Shore Frolics parade maniacally playing the drums while wearing an oversized rabbit head?
Yes, he looked like a bunny but he called himself a chicken. Well, his name is Paul, and this spring he opened a small soup kitchen among the Shorewood Village shops here. It's called the Czarnuszka Soup Bar, and while his rotating menu of four daily soups includes such standards as tomato florentine, the emphasis is on eastern European fare. To protect his "Rhythm Chicken" identity, he doesn't want his last name revealed.
Bohemian potato chowder is the house soup, on sale every day. Paul describes it as cream based but a little sour, containing mostly spuds and rosemary. The Irish root soup has a touch of curry and is quite delicious.
Some of his eastern European creations include Bulgarian cucumber, Lithuanian beef and Ukrainian chicken soups. Paul lived in Poland for two years.
Czarnuszka is tiny, with seating for only a handful of people in and outdoors. While Paul is happy to sell a cup ($4) or bowl ($5) of soup to anyone, he says he is not targeting tourists as his primary customers.
"I'm serving the blue collar guys up here, the construction workers, the starving college kids who are working up here to make and save money."
Paul has cooked at Tenuta's in Bay View, County Clare on the East Side "and all over Door County," he says. Why did he open Czarnuszka?
"I'm passionate about making great soups. I'm sick of the stress of normal kitchen work."
I've known Paul for quite a few years, he's pretty down to earth. Too bad he's so anchored in Door County. He'd rule if he opened that business here. $4 - $5 for soup is a bargain (I'm looking at you, Milwaukee area soup restaurants!).
Irish root soup: Vegetarian, gluten-free, delicious.
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