We spent the last week on vacation in Orlando, Florida to see Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. The new Hagrid’s Motorbike ride at Wizarding World is awesome, and Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has technology so immersive that you almost forget how painfully boring Avatar was, but this isn’t a podcast about Harry Potter or giant sci-fi Smurfs. It’s about Dragon Ball Z. Well, and Gilmore Girls, but that’s not relevant right now.
So imagine our surprise when we were looking for a place to eat the first night near our hotel outside Universal Studios and we see the name “Soupa Saiyan”.
A short walk from the budget hotels outside Universal brought us to a pretty humble shopfront in a strip mall, but the inside is definitely a blast for any Dragon Ball fan. Cotton batting covered lamps hang from the ceiling that look like Flying Nimbus, fan art and collectibles line the walls, and friends:
They have a life-size statue of Vegeta
The staff are all friendly and helpful, and obviously having fun with their concept. It would be easy for someone get jaded or impatient with people who want to take pictures all over the small shop and possibly get in the way, but we didn’t see any of that during our visit: everybody was happy to see us enjoying ourselves.
Of course, theme restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a themed menu. Soupa Saiyan doesn’t go overboard in this regard – it’s mostly a ramen and pho shop – but they do call their edamame “Senzu Beans”, and have a “Vegeta”rian Bowl. The real standouts are the “Kaioken” and the “Ultra Instinct”.
The Kaioken is a 3x portion of noodles and broth, corn, chicken, steamed dumplings, and a fried egg. The Ultra Instinct is a 5x portion of pho, steamed dumplings, and three fried eggs. This obviously sounds like a lot of food, but you have to understand that the regular portions at this place are HUGE.
Come here with an appetite. I can’t imagine how anyone other than Goku himself could eat an Ultra Instinct, much less a Kaioken.
Of course the big question: is the food any good? We can happily say it is, especially given how cheap it is. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese pho and the general onion-and-cilantro flavor profile it tends to have over other styles of noodles, this is a hearty bowl of soup for a great price.
Is Soupa Saiyan worth a pilgrimage all on its own? Probably not unless you live and breathe Dragon Ball even more than we do. But if you’re already in the area to visit the mouse and the wizard kid, we recommend swinging by for a cheap lunch with some slick decoration. It’s right near Universal Studios, and we had a great time.
Nick Daniels of the bands Sins of Spira and Astillian (also one of Grant’s oldest friends) declares this week’s episode of Gilmore Girls “a banger,” and we realize that was the secret goal of this podcast all along.
While we wait for the Gilmore Girls to rebuild in the wake of Richard’s political machinations, Gohan gets in touch with his anger and Cell tries to find form that’s more perfect than perfection. Neither’s pretty.
Richard is playing the Game of Thrones in Gilmore Girls this week. Meanwhile, Gohan can easily defeat a Lil Cell, but can he easily defeat 5 Lil Cells? (Yes, of course the answer is yes. What kind of question is that?)