Prescription Chicken Is Back in Town

Prescription Chicken partners Valerie Zweig, left, and Taryn Pellicone
display their matzoh ball soup at R. House earlier this year. (Photo by Marc Shapiro)

After a successful Remington pop-up earlier this year, matzoh ball soup purveyors Prescription Chicken have set up shop at Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.

Cousins and business partners Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone — whose business started and continues in the Washington, D.C., area with delivery and retail in stores — said they craved a location where they could interact face-to-face with customers and see their reactions to the soup, something they greatly enjoyed in March at their pop-up at food hall R. House.

“We don’t get to see the smile, we don’t get to hear the ‘ah’ when they taste it,” Zweig, 36, said of delivery. “We really missed that. It was incredibly energizing for us, so we were like, ‘We have to do this.’”

Prescription Chicken opened at Cross Street Market earlier this month and, in addition to its varied chicken soup and matzoh ball soup offerings, features the newly launched Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls, which come in flavors such as pina colada, cookies and milk, birthday sundae and Elvis. In addition to their “grandma-style” chicken soup, bone broth, vegan “bone broth” made with mushrooms, vegetarian chicken-less soup and a spicy hangover soup, all available with matzoh balls (gluten-free available), egg noodles and veggies, two new soups were added to the lineup since the last time Prescription Chicken was in Baltimore.

“Our faux pho is our twist on pho because, obviously, we are two Jewish girls and not Vietnamese girls,” Zweig said. “[And] Thai coconut dumpling — it’s true to who we are, just really yummy chicken soup, just different iterations.”

(Photo by Marc Shapiro)

They plan to launch a cream of chicken soup spiced with Old Bay, special for Baltimore — “like the inside of a pot pie,” Zweig said.

They also started making mini-challahs.

“We use our own chicken schmaltz as the fat, so when you dip it into the broth it’s crazy good,” Zweig said. “We call it the cutest mini-challah in town.”

Their soup is also available for delivery.

Zweig grew up in Bethesda, Md., and is a lifelong member of Washington Hebrew Congregation. Pellicone, 29, whose mother is Jewish, recently moved to Baltimore but grew up celebrating the Jewish holidays at Zweig’s house and had an affinity for the family’s gefilte fish.

(Photo by Marc Shapiro)

Prescription Chicken is one of four new pop-up spaces that opened at the market, which will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2019. Prescription Chicken will remain open during the renovation and move to a different space after it is complete.

“It’s a really exciting project,” Pellicone said. “I know people in the neighborhood are really excited.”

As the Baltimore store chugs along, Prescription Chicken is expanding. It plans to open a location at a Philadelphia food hall in June.

“I really don’t think there is any food that is more connective and comforting than soup — there’s comfort foods, but really nice chicken soup, whether it was a Campbell’s can or your grandmother’s or you made it in a packet, I think that’s the food you ate when you weren’t feeling well and were having a bad day and needed the comfort,” Zweig said. “And the sky is the limit because we can continue to be creative. Every culture has a chicken soup, so there are so many options.”

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