My plan for the day was derailed, so I stopped by this little area to get a picture of the new pizza place that's going to open. I'd heard that the Downtown Deli closed, so I wanted to get a photo of that also. I saw the sign for Riddlez touting the soup specials: Lentil, Manhattan Clam Chowder and Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, all of which I like. The sale was made.
I went in and asked if the Gumbo was spicy and the counterperson said she didn't know. I should have taken this as a bad sign. She asked the "cook", who also couldn't answer but offered me a taste. I couldn't really tell from the tiny cup she game me, so I just ordered a small container. It was like $4.75.
I live nearby, so it was still quite hot when I opened it.
Riddlez Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
My first impression was that it was short on stuff. Gumbos should have more stuff and less liquid. I started fishing around to find the sausage; real gumbo has spicy andouille sausage. At first I didnt' find any. Then I realized that what looked like grilled tofu was their version of sausage.
Rigglez Gumbo Sausage
Soft, tastless; what was the point? The chicken was really soft also. Maybe it was in the soup too long. I took a few sips and decided that It wasnt worth the calories. But I thought I could save it.
One good thing about takeout is that you can fix the food if you don't like it. Some creole seasoning, cayenne, file powder and some hot italian sausage (I didn't have andouille), and the soup was transformed to something spicy and more substantial.>
Riddlez Gumbo Fixed
Gumbo needs some kick. I didn't cry, but I came close.
I don't understand how people can serve what they serve sometimes. Don't they taste the food they make? Have they ever had a gumbo before?
Riddlez took over the spot formerly occupied by Bob and Wilson's when they moved to their new location on Las Olas.
The difference between Riddlez and Bob and Wilson's is marketing. Riddlez has a fancy website and fancy prices to match. A Sandwich is about $2 more here than B&Ws. There's no pastrami or cole slaw.
Bob and Jose (the owner of Riddlez) are acquainted from their days at Panera. It's interesting how they've taken 2 different directions; Panera has lots of fancy sandwiches at fancy prices which seems like the route Jose is following; while Bob is offering simple, solid food and a fair price.
I was on foot in the area and I noticed on their sign that they had chili on special. I asked the counter guy if it had beans and he said "Yes, and a bunch of other stuff". Since chili can take many forms, I was a little put off that he didn't seem to want to tell me what was in it. They description was "Hearty Meat Chili", so I expected something very meat-centric. But when I opened the container, it was rather loose and had some unidentifiable ingredients.
I tasted it and it was cold; I'm only about 3 blocks away. The unidentified strips looked like bamboo shoots; maybe tofu. But they turned out to be cheese. The chili had a very smokey flavor and was loaded with corn. It was more like a soup, frankly. I can't say that I liked it.
They also gave me a container with plain tortilla chips and another container with some sour cream.
Like the sandwiches, the chili was too fancy for my taste. This is not my kind of place.