There was a small Chinese restaurant up in Five Points back in the mid to late 90's that had what I thought was the best hot and sour soup. A co-worker of mine and I would go there a couple times a week just for the soup.
The place closed and supposedly moved to Florida I believe. It turned into one of those Eggroll Express (or other generic name) and the quality of soup and food went downhill.
My roommate's husband is home from the Navy on leave, and as we were discussing Chinese food in Birmingham, we both recalled the wonderful flavor of the soup, and how we have not found it's equal since. We've decided to go in search of the hot and sour soups in Birmingham to see if we can find someone who makes soup as close to what we remember from that little hole in the wall place all those years ago.
I also want to introduce him to both Mr. Chen's and Red Pearl - though I know already that Mr. Chen's soup is not what we're looking for. However a post from Big Daddy has me wanting to try Red Pearl's soup during out quest.
I've looked at recommendations on the Internet for hot and sour soup places in and around Hoover and surrounding areas. And I have suggestions of places to try from friends who remember the soup from 5 Points as well. Granted some of the places I'd not normally go to (like the big buffet places) but since we're wanting to give the places a fair try, we'll pop in for soup.
If any of our Birmingham Chowhounds have recommendations, let me know. We're looking for a true hot and sour soup where the balance of spice and sour is enough to know it's a little of both.
As we review the soups we'll let you know how they rank in terms of quality as well as coming close to what we're looking for.