Severo Avila

Severo Avila is Features Editor at the Rome News-Tribune.

I’m not technically a doctor, nor do I claim to be one.

However, I believe I’ve discovered the cure for the flu that’s been going around.

I know a ton of folks in Rome who have gotten the flu recently and among those were my next-door neighbor Lacey and I. Normally Lacey and I are bitter enemies because her front porch always looks nice so it makes mine look awful and I resent her bitterly for that.

But since we were both feeling under the weather we came together to fight the common enemy, the self-diagnosed flu. And I believe we’ve discovered a cure… or at the very least something that makes you feel a whole lot better.

Now hear me out on this. It’s the chipotle chicken soup at Antigua Mexican restaurant. That’s the one over by Walmart on 411.

I made a lot of locals angry when I wrote a column months ago about the food at Antigua being good. Apparently it had been a well-kept secret — a “honey hole” as my buddy Richie Stephens says. He still hasn’t forgiven me for telling all of Rome about one of his favorite spots to eat, claiming he can’t get a table there anymore because so many people go there now after I stabbed him in the back and told everyone how great the food there is.

So for the record, can I ask the people at Antigua to please reserve a table for Richie and Alice Stephens as well as Rusty and Sally Williams? They remind me DAILY that they were faithful patrons of Antigua before my column.

But I digress.

I used to only get the tacos al pastor there.

However, since Lacey and I were feeling cruddy, we decided to get some soup. And seeing as how it’s been a little chilly outside, we wanted something hot. So we got the chipotle chicken soup.

Let me tell you about this delicacy sent straight down from heaven.

First of all, think of a really good chicken soup as a FOUNDATION. It’s got the extremely flavorful broth and the delicious shredded chicken. And then it’s got tomatoes and onions and avocado and I don’t know what else.

But then some culinary genius decided to add a chipotle pepper sauce to it and you get this really smoky, robust flavor that I believe immediately killed the flu virus within my body.

Oh, and I forgot to add that the soup comes with flour or corn tortillas and if you get it with those fresh, hot corn tortillas like I do, you’ll be magically transported to a land of flavor and deliciousness from which you will not want to return.

Like I said, I ain’t a doctor. But I’m almost positive that this soup completely cured mine and Lacey’s flu, specifically the Celanese strain of the virus which we believe is more hardy than other local strains.

I’ve already sent an email to the CDC hoping they’ll look into it and fingers crossed, I’ll be awarded a Nobel Prize for Science for discovering a new and delicious flu vaccine.

AT THE VERY LEAST, this soup will warm you and clear out your sinuses. As I was sitting there eating it, my fever broke. That’s all I’m saying.

By the way, the owner of the restaurant told us that when SHE eats the chipotle chicken soup, she mixes in a little of their cheese dip. Now I don’t know about all that. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I personally think it’s perfect just as it is with a little bit of lime squeezed in there. But I just mentioned that as an option because their cheese dip IS very good.

And in case you don’t care for chipotle flavor, there are other delicious soups around town if you’re feeling under the weather. Two of my very favorites are the chicken soup at El Zarape which is immensely flavorful, as well as the thai chili soup at Rusan’s which is hearty and has a little kick to it.

I know the flu is all around town. I hope you and your family stay healthy. But if you happen to get sick, then I hope my recommendation makes you feel a little better.


Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune