When It Comes to Soup, Variety is the Spice of Life

Good enough to eat, this steaming hot bowl of chicken with green chilies and rice and topped with avocado is but one of the many soup creations served daily at Tent City Restaurant.

There is an Old Spanish saying, “Between soup and love, the first is better.” That translation is certainly open for debate, but there seems to be no debate about the quality of soups being prepared daily at Tent City Restaurant.  

Each day chef Kasey Chapman arrives before the sun to prepare a special, homemade soup for his customers. Certainly, the most heard question at Tent City Restaurant is, “What’s the soup today?”  

Chapman is an unlikely candidate to be on the receiving end of such culinary praise. The 29-year-old former Coronado student admits he would rather be playing with his 7-year-old daughter than cooking at such an early hour, and yet, those who know him realize how seriously he takes his profession as a culinary chef.  

Moving through a small kitchen among numerous assistants, Chapman demonstrates an uncanny fluidity and economy of motion. As he moves from cutting board to food bins to the oven, he rarely pauses, he is never unsure of what he is doing. He is focused beyond distraction and is precise in his execution whether it be preparing exotic soups or portioning large slabs of steak and fish.

“I never thought I would enjoy working with food as much as I do,” Chapman said. “I originally thought waiting tables and playing music would be my strong suit (he is drummer in a local band), but the more time I spent in restaurants the more I began to gravitate towards the kitchen.”  

Among the special soups offered daily at Tent City Restaurant are butternut squash, cream of mushroom (with chicken and rice), roasted red pepper, cream of jalapeño, chipotle chicken and rice, shrimp Creole, French onion (with gruyere cheese), and a crowd favorite, crab shrimp and scallop bisque. Clam chowder and chicken tortilla are served daily.  

“Everything is prepared fresh on site,” Chapman said. “That’s how we guarantee such a consistent variety of good flavor.”  

Chapman is one of three siblings to parents Ron and Debi Chapman. Cooking and restaurants are a family affair for the Chapmans. His father and Uncle Rick are co-founders of the successful Coronado Brewing Company and Tent City Restaurant.  

Sister Deanna and brother Kyle are managers in the family chain as well. Chapman oversees food preparation for both restaurants and manages Tent City Restaurant. Tent City’s name comes from the popular seasonal community south of the Hotel del Coronado from 1900-1939.  

Chapman got his start at 14 working in his uncle’s restaurant, Café 1134. After five years he moved into the kitchen at Rhinoceros Restaurant. In 2002 his father offered him a chance to join the family business. He has been working for the Coronado Brewing Company and Tent City for nine years.  

Tent City Restaurant offers creative, weekly specials for lunch, as well as nightly, grilled specials on the patio. “I’m constantly looking for unique recipes and new ways to prepare and present exciting new food dishes,” Chapman said – a true sign of a great chef.  

Tent City Restaurant is located at 1100 Orange Avenue, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are open daily, and can cater large parties and banquets by reservation. Seating is inside and out. For more information or a closer look at their menu visit www.tentcityrestaurant.com or call (619) 435-4611.

Submitted by Joe Ditler of Part-time PR


  • LL

    What do you think about eating dogs?
    Eight-course feast of dog "sweet meat" in Pyongyang

    By Jack Kim

    PYONGYANG (Reuters Life!) – "Let’s see by a show of hands, who won’t be having sweet meat? Five? We’re going then."

    With that quick vote, it was decided that a delegation of 21 South Koreans visiting Pyongyang this month for a conference would be having an extravagant lunch where every one of the eight courses would be a dog meat delicacy.

    "A once-in-a-lifetime experience!" a North Korean official chaperoning the group said enthusiastically.

    While South Korea, mindful of its overseas image and the criticism attached in the West to eating dogs, has made the practice more discreet and better regulated, isolated North Korea attaches no public stigma to consuming the meat.

    Dog meat restaurants in the South are usually back-alley fare catering to middle-aged men. In the North, dog meat has become a celebrated part of the culture served at its best dining halls to the few in the impoverished state who can afford it.

    Dog meat is eaten in other countries in Asia, including Vietnam. In South Korea, "boshin-tang" which translates as "health preserving soup" is usually braised meat, stewed in a spicy broth and served with steamed rice. But marinated ribs, as found in North Korea, are rare.

    In the North’s capital, the recipe calls for less spice, presumably to highlight the natural flavor of the ingredients, and a variety of cuts are served for a leisurely meal accompanied by rice wine.

    Defectors in the South said Korean cuisine, which varies according to region, undergoes further change in the North because there is less money for elaborate spices and ingredients. This means food is simpler in the North, the taste is lighter and little is wasted.


    The pungent odor of dog meat is far more noticeable in the North’s cuisine with its fewer spices, leading a few uneasy Southerners to forego the feast. They were instead served a set that included chicken, fish, shrimp and vegetables.

    "You want to go easy at first, or else, near the end, you won’t have any room left," said Shim Jae-hwan, a human rights attorney from Seoul who was part of the South Korean delegation dining at the Pyongyang Sweet Meat Restaurant.

    Following a bowl of clear broth for a starter, an impressive roast was served, its texture soft and sweet as it easily tore from a 15-cm (6-inch) segment of the vertebra.

    Then came an assortment of meat in a variety of sauces, one more exotic than the next, and the meal ends with a hearty bowl of spicy soup and rice.

    The North’s reclusive leader Kim Jong-il is said to be a fan of dog meat, and state media said he often offers advice on how the dish should be prepared, such as: "To get the broth right, the meat should be cooked with its skin intact."

    Together with restaurant Okryu-kwan, which seats nearly 10,000 people a day and is known for Pyongyang’s trademark dish of cold noodles, the Pyongyang Sweet Meat Restaurant has become a popular spot among the North’s elite and visitors from the South
    The restaurant near the Taedong River in central Pyongyang can accommodate more than 2,000 people a day and manager Pak Song-suk boasts all the meat comes from home-grown canine.

    "Sweet meat is considered the best remedy when the appetite is low because of hot weather or fatigue," a feature article in the North’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.

  • Allie B

    That is just gross I love dogs if someone ate a dog in front of me I would Do something about it write away so don’t ok
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    It’s gross and nasty

  • Kitsunegirl

    I dont even want to read that. i hate the fact that people eat dogs! its inhumane and makes humans look like lowlifes. i saw a dog get dragged off and they get stuffed in crates so small they can barely breath. its the most horrible thing anyone can ever do. I own a dog and i would not imagine eating her, its disgusting! I think it should be illegal!
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    Animal Lover Dog Owner!

  • -Ponto Get Well!-

    What I think about eating DOGS??? My friends and companions? My guardians? The ones that are always there for me, the ones that comfort me. Well let me just say… EEW! I would NEVER eat a dog. It’s abusive to the dogs!

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  • ♫♪ Nekkid Bootie ♪♫

    so what exactly is the question? You posted an article about people eating dog meat.

    I cant judge.. I eat beef and pork.. many religions and cultures do not eat these meats.. cows are considered sacred in some countries, and causing harm to a cow can mean a death sentence! Unless you are a vegetarian, you have no right to judge other cultures when they eat meat sources.

    Some people eat dog meat simply because there is no other food sources.
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  • Clarice

    Don’t think I could do it!
    The people that do it are from different cultures, and to them it’s the norm.
    I don’t think it’s worse than the meat we eat in the United States. We’re accustomed to eating cows, chickens, ducks, pigs, lamb, etc.
    I don’t eat any of that anymore. The reason I don’t is the way those animals are treated in the slaughterhouses. I can’t separate the food on my plate with where it came from.
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  • TwilightKim<3

    Some cultures think eating dog meat is normal. To us eating cows, pigs, chicken etc is normal, we think them eating dogs is inhumane. To some cultures people think eating cows are inhumane. CULTURES ARE DIFFERENT.
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  • Gsd's and APBT's babyy!

    I didn’t read that. I would have been sick. As for eating dogs….Well that’s just gross. Really sick dude.
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  • kiwijangle

    I expect that if I grew up eating dog I would find it culturally acceptable…..but I didn’t, so I don’t like the idea. When we were kids we ate our pet lambs instead.
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  • oregano13

    It is not for me to judge what is an acceptable foodstuff in other countries. In some countries, cows are sacred and not eaten- they think we are sick for slaughtering and eating them. Factory farmed livestock in the US often spend their lives in cramped, dirty enclosures. Chickens are allotted a space the size of half a sheet of standard notebook paper to live in until slaughter. Their beaks are cut off so they can not mutilate each other in that sort of confinement. Sows are often confined to crates after giving birth that they can not lie down in so they don’t squish their piglets. Why? Because the ‘farmer’ does not provide them enough space to avoid squishing them when she lies down. Pigs are equally as intelligent as dogs and make great companions. Dairy cattle are given massive doses of hormones to increase their milk production- causing them discomfort and shortening their lives. Their calves are taken from them at birth so we can drink their milk. To me, eating dog is no more cruel than eating any other meat or animal product- it all comes down to what is socially acceptable in the society you are a member of and what is defined as a ‘companion’ there vs a food source. Judge not lest you be judged, people.
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  • mojos1966

    O.K…Both you and I and just about anyone else who reads this will be totally appalled…
    The very simple and disgusting fact is that there are may asian countries out there that breed dogs just like we breed cattle and pigs…For their meat…
    I know, it’s hard to fathom…You and I have that dog in the front room right now that we can’t even IMAGINE cutting up for meat…
    Even if we were starving to death, we’d starve and not even think for a second about our bud being actual food…

    It’s a culture thing dude…They’ve done it for hundreds of years…We can’t change their minds overnight….But you know what ?
    You posting this question has actually made one or two of them think twice.. 🙂

    Here’s another thing…
    You know that coat that you’ve had your eye on ? The one with the fur trim that’s "Made In China" ???
    What do you think that fur is ?

    Mull that one over.
    Go to your coat closet and light up the burning barrel.
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  • NuclearMongoose

    people that eat dogs are evil… i dont see how anyone could eat such a animal, theyre like one of the best animals in the world (in my opinion) if i saw someone trying to kill and eat a dog… i would shoot them in the leg or something and torture them
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  • Sighthound Lover!!!

    Just because one culture finds something a delicacy, others may find it appalling.

    Hindu don’t eat cow. Muslim, and Jewish don’t eat pork. In Africa many people find fish revolting and others think cheese is disgusting. In America people find several foods revolting, dog, cat, fetilized duck eggs, insects, fermented meats and veggies. We find these weird as other societies consider them normal.

    I may not agree with eating dogs, but a lot of people see no problem with it and if that’s what they want to eat, than that’s their option.
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  • Tricia M

    *just sits and stares in complete udder disgust*

    I have no words for this…. I… I…. I think I’m gonna puke… and tell my dogs I’ll never eat them… Thank god I’m a Vegetarian
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  • shellks

    I could never, ever eat a dog or a cat. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be put in any situation that I would be made to. I also know that any dog or cat will eat ME if I died and they had no source of food. I would be their food! Pets/animals don’t have politcal correctness.
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  • ~*that_one_chick*~

    I don’t think eating a friend is legal. Eating dogs is not right at all! Why would someone want to eat a loyal companion who protects them at all times! I hate just thinking about it! I absolutely LOVE my dogs and I am totally against eating them!!!!!

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  • Music&Dogs<3

    I didn’t even read the whole passage, I scanned through it and am already feeling gross. I personally would never want to imagine such beloved companions served as food, but I am a vegetarian, and also choose not to eat other kinds of meat.

    I will not judge other people. I know that culture plays a huge part in situations like these, and many are quick to point fingers. The truth is, while we look at a dog and see a sweet face and a friend, others just see livestock. We are shocked by this, but I also know that people in small Asian countries or India will look at a sheep or a cow and see an animal that needs to be respected and loved, while many other countries just see lamp chops and steak. And that, to them, is completely appalling. Just as most of us would not care to take a cow from a field and take it home to love and raise, a lot of people Asian countries do not view a dog as a pet.

    I also want to tell you that eating dogs is not a common practice, and is hardly as everyday as eating beef or pork. Dog is served in what is mostly considered "low class" restaurants (at least in China) and the idea of dog meat is becoming less and less appealing as people start raising them as pets and part of their family.
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