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Old North End Nosh

Side Dishes: Soups 'n' sandwiches are on the menu

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Maybe you've heard of the "Soup Nazi" - that "Seinfeld" character based on a real Manhattan vendor, whose manners were as nasty as his broth was savory. Meet his kinder, gentler Vermont counterpart: The Soup Mama, also known as Lorraine Murray, 25, runs a bicycle-powered soup delivery business in Burlington. She cooks up warm winter comfort food and sells it by the quart.

Each Wednesday, the Old North End resident posts a featured soup on her blog, http://thesoupmama.wordpress.com. She takes orders Wednesday through Saturday via email. Then, on Tuesday, Murray peddles the goods to your doorstep.

If you're not home, you can leave a cooler and a check. The price changes weekly depending on ingredients. This week's black bean soup is going for $8 a container.

The varieties are governed by "whatever mood I'm in, whatever strikes me, whatever I think people would like," Murray explains. Look for minestrone in the future - and yes, there will be soup for you.

And sandwiches? The Henry Street Deli recently changed hands, and the new proprietors are making "better sandwiches with fresh-baked breads that are delivered every day," boasts co-owner Manny Romanko.

Romanko, 40, describes the Deli as a "quaint little market on a quiet street" in Burlington's Old North End. He and his wife Tamra Yandow, also 40, recently purchased it from previous owners who decided to retire. "We live right across the street . . . it was a nice opportunity," Romanko says.

The duo has slowly been making changes, such as introducing McKenzie meats and offering morning pastries alongside Fair Trade organic coffee from Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co. Although they're still feeling a few things out, Romanko says they're also looking for input from local folks: "We're trying to get feedback from everybody to make it more of a community market."

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