Location: 106 East 3rd Street, Brookston (map it)
Phone: (765) 563-3788
When I first moved to this area in 1998, some co-workers and I were going out to lunch and they all wanted to go to Klein Brot Haus. I didn’t live in Lafayette at the time, but a nearby city, and I’d never heard of this place. I knew it was located in Brookston and that it had a great soup and bread bar. I like soup. I like bread. So it is shocking to me that I’ve never actually made it back there.
I started this website in 2008, and since then I only write reviews of restaurants as I try them, even if I’ve been there before. So today I decided was a good day for soup and bread, and I encouraged my friend to join me in the drive to Brookston to enjoy. I realize the ownership has likely changed hands since that day back in 1998, but I still wanted to go give it a try and I’m really glad I did.
It’s really not that far of a drive, just north of Lafayette off 43. It’s not a huge place and has a very homey, antique-y feel to it. Or maybe you’d call it rustic? Plenty of tables and chairs, newspapers around, a coffee station, and of course, a pastry display. Then off to one side is a little bar for the soup and bread. We got there a little early so it wasn’t quite ready yet, but chose to wait on it.
They offered three soups today, but sometimes they do four. Today’s choices were Kentucky Burgoo, chicken noodle, and Irish stew. If having the bar, you can help yourself to soups and the other items on the bar. The bowls are fairly small so you can be sure to try all the varieties. They had a platter of fresh bread as well and a selection of butters: apple butter, regular butter, cinnamon butter, and honey butter. I had read that they offered salads as well, and so long as you are open minded about what is considered salad, they do. The salads today were baked bean salad, cole slaw, beats, and apple sauce.
Let’s start with the soups. I did try all three, and they were all really good. The chicken noodle was good, but not extraordinary. The other two were a toss up for which one was better. The Irish stew, while called stew, was actually a brothy soup with cabbage, sausage, and other vegetables while the Kentucky Burgoo was more of a stew, with multiple meats and a lot of peas and corn.
The bread was delicious (but I’ve rarely met a bread I didn’t like) and I tasted all the butters and really liked them all. The cinnamon butter was like spreading cinnamon toast on top of your bread. Decadent.
As to the salads, these were not my favorite. The “baked bean salad” was really just cold baked beans. I liked baked beans, and these were fine, but I prefer them warm. The cole slaw was different in that it seemed to be only cabbage, no carrots or onion that I saw, and it wasn’t sweet at all. I am, after many tries, not a fan of beats, so I didn’t give those a try. Nor did I try the apple sauce.
Upon finishing our meal, we both agreed that dessert was going to be a necessity. I couldn’t stop looking at the huge display of options. I asked what was best, and the server had a hard time picking. I finally settled on the Pumpkin Bar (’tis the season) and my friend got a chocolate brownie. The pumpkin bar was just a slice of heaven. So good. The chocolate brownie was so rich we could hardly eat it. Good, but wow, very rich.
They also have breakfast, as well as cold and hot sandwiches. Nearly everyone eating there was having soup and bread though.
The service was very good as well. It was pretty much self serve, but the person in charge was very pleasant, was very helpful, and just a really nice guy.
Overall, it’s definitely worth the drive to Brookston for a tasty lunch.
Kid Friendly: Yes.
Price: $5.99 for all you can eat soup and bread.