Friday, January 2, 2009

European Street Style Beer Cheese Soup

In high school, Andy and Margaret Z's parents owned a cool deli in the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville, FL. It was called Mr. Dunderbaks. Later, it became European Street cafe but it still had the old world styling, the canned German music, import foods, and an expansive line of high quality brews that filled the length of a wall. If you drank one of each kind (tracked on a card), you won a free beer a week for a year (or something like that). The hard part was, this wasn't a bar. You were limited to 4 beers a visit.

My friend, Carson, worked there for a while. Sometimes I'd hang out with him while he closed up. My wife and I also love to sit in the "outdoor cafe" part which was really the store front opening into the mall traffic. We'd eat, have a few beers, and people watch. Ahhhh what great fun.

They had great sandwiches and decadent desserts (Snickers pie, reese's peanut pie, etc) but our favorite was their beer cheese soup. So when we moved from Jacksonville and I couldn't get it anymore, I experimented with a few beer cheese soup recipes but none of them were what I was looking for. I stole from this one, borrowed from that one, added a thing or two and this is what I ended up with. This probably isn't a clone, it's more of a clone of how I remember it.

European Street Style Beer Cheese Soup Ingredients,

1 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup carrot finely diced
1/3 cup celery finely diced
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces beer
3 cups chicken broth up to 5 cups if desired.
4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Saute carrots, onions, and celery in butter until the onions are translucent

Stir in flour and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking constrantly, making sure it does not burn.

Stir in beer (must be first to cook off the alcohol), paprika, mustard, worchestershire, and broth. Use wire whisk to smooth. Add cheese, slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Feel free to mix up the cheese or a use a blend of cheeses, such as cheddar and parmesan, sharp cheddar and colby-jack, or whatever. Tonights blend was some of the smoked cheeses that I cold smoked last week, including mild cheddar, white cheddar, and fontina.

Remove from heat and fold in half and half (or heavy cream if you want to get that first heart attack out of the way tonight). Add tabasco. Serve w/ extra tabasco on the side and fresh popcorn as garnish.


  1. Food... Allll riggghhhhtttt! Beer cheese soup is my favorite!!! Seriously. Can't wait to try this out.

  2. This is a really interesting idea. I've never even thought of a beer and cheese soup, but I can't think why it wouldn't work. Two great tastes and all... is there a type of beer that works better than others? I'd love to try it with an IPA... or a stout...

    1. You have never "even thought of" a beer and cheese soup? Do you live in SIBERIA?

      What's weird is that you have the... INternet... and speak ENglish... but have NEVER heard of "beer cheese soup"??

      Have you never been read nursery rhymes either?

      I'm sorry - This one just caught me by TOTAL surprise... I completely feel like someone just shot me in my thorax

  3. Fearless - I used Fat Tire Amber Ale and it gave a nice flavor to the soup. I'd like to try Newcastle Brown the next time.

  4. I used to live in Jacksonville (Orlando now) and distinctly remember Dunderbacks. I lived in Riverside for years and went to European Street everyday after work for beers. My favorite item on the menu was the beer cheese soup (with extra swiss on top that would slightly melt...yum). My second favorite was their Champagne Chedder Cheese. OMG!!! Put that on your pretzel and you were in cheese heaven. Anyway, I plan to make your beer cheese soup tonight. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Thanks!!

  5. Thank you thank you thank you... I actually just moved from Jax last year, and was thinking about that soup this morning. I found you by just googling recipes for "Beer Cheese Soup." Thanks for posting this!

  6. I also found you like Ginger. :) I have looked and looked for something close to their beer cheese soup. I am a native of Jacksonville (now in Kentucky) and I crave it sometimes. We always went to the one in Riverside. I am definately going to give this a try! I loved having it in the bread bowl! YUMMM!

  7. Oh, my lord, I just ate lunch and now I want this decadent soup! Greater depth of flavor than my quickie version, absolutely. And smoked cheeses ... sigh.

  8. I had this last night at European Street Cafe on Beach Blvd. I did manage to get out of them that they use Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest for the beer in their soup, which is also one of my favorite beers!

  9. I had this last night at the European Street Cafe on Beach Blvd, here in Jacksonville. One thing I did manage to get out of them is that they use Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest as the beer for their soup. Will definitely try your recipe! :)

  10. Steve - Hacker Pschorr was always my favorite beer there, so it doesn't surprise me that was what they used. Andy also told me that they use provolone in their recipe for creaminess.

  11. I grew up in Jacksonville florida in riverside too actually and I grew up going to European street on the regular since I was like 3 im 22 now and have lived in Denver Colorado for the past 2 years so many miles from my home and one of things I have missed the most (other than the ocean that it) is Beer cheese soup in a bread bowl from European Street for me it was a foundation of my childhood I even went to elementary school right across the street from the riverside location (west riverside elementary) so I pretty much grew up in that place and I got to say your recreation is the closest I have found by far I was almost brought to tears by how homesick it made me I was right back in that café I could almost hear the cheesy background music and smell the odd scent that wafts through that place. Thank You so much for taking the time to figure this out and share it us you have made this very homesick 904 girl very happy :)

  12. I will try this!! We had a Mr. Dunderbaks here in Tampa at University Square Mall, But now they have moved into a strip center and doing 10 times the business! I have always loved their cheese soup!