Solita has appeared in national newspapers recommending them as one of the top places to grab a burger, in these burgersplosive times this is some feat. I had visited Solita before this visit, I'd say around 18 months ago, before we went burger mental up north.
Solita is well known to the food bloggers of Manchester and to many in Leeds too. Their famous burgers managing to make an impact across the pennies is certainly something to pay attention to.
So what is all the fuss about?
Yes they do burgers, many have jumped on the burger bandwagon since, but they were there at the beginning, maybe a little quieter in terms of their popularity but by no means quieter in themselves. They have been shouting about how good they are on twitter for some time now. They have so much confidence and most importantly passion about what they do it shines through in their food. They pride themselves on delivering good food, trying new things, not being afraid to admit when things have gone wrong, testing the waters with new ideas or ideas which haven't previously been widespread in the UK. It's due to this that their menu is constantly changing, they have specials frequently and themed nights too (such as the breaking bad evenings) but they have also established their classics too. Things that customers want to eat time and time again, things they have got down to a tee.
I visited with D one Saturday evening pre-gig around about 5-6pm, we expected to wait as you can't book but thankfully they have a bar in the basement which you can sit have a pint and ponder of the menu until a table is ready. Like last time they overestimated the time it would take for a table to be free and we were up on the ground floor within 30 minutes.
We each ordered a pale ale each downstairs and brought these up with us to the table. Quite a small but unique selection with many I hadn't had before then.
We ordered some olives and caperberries to share whilst we waited for our food. The place was pretty full and there is barely enough room for people to manoeuvre about, they definitely could do with a bigger place. Thankfully it was more pleasant than the last time I visited where I was sat on a high stool around a round table with my elbows touching the people either side of me. If you can get a window seat do it, those high tables are a nightmare.
I decided to chose one of Solita's ever changing and ever anticipated specials.. the breaking bad burger. This is a burger of epic proportions, highly intoxicating to look at it, something to behold and admire. Inside a brioche bun sits a beef patty, some pollo chicken (buttermilk fried chicken) blue cheese, blue nachos and red peppers. Not a burger you can grab with both hands and sink your teeth in it requires a certain amount of dissecting but nevertheless it is more than awesome.
D opted for the 'Once in a Lifetime' burger which appears on their standard menu and has done so for sometime now. Inside a brioche bun there is pulled pork (D's favourite), buttermilk fried chicken, a beef patty, onion rings, chow chow slaw, Monterey Jack cheese and BBQ sauce.
I tried a small morsel of D's burger and it was as good as my own. The pulled pork was tender and saucy, the chicken a nice contrast of crispy and crunchy.
We both opted for house fries not wanting to distract away from our show stopping burgers, and some fried pickles to share. (This was probably too much food if I'm honest!).
Even though Solita's burgers undoubtedly have a lot going on they don't forget about the burger, the main component. It's packed full of flavour, juicy and pink in the middle.
There aren't enough words to describe how good their burgers are so I won't try.
We also clearly made good choices with our burgers as the couple who sat next to us saw our meals and chose exactly the same. I hope they weren't disappointed.
Alongside the burgers they also have a great selection of beers/ales. We tried a few different kinds with the pictures below, they were pretty good and packed full of flavour. If I saw these on a shelf in a shop I'd snap them up without thinking twice.
The meal for two came to just under £50 for the both of us, this did include 4 beers, and we felt it was money well spent.
I don't visit Manchester that often, I'd find it hard to want to go to anywhere other than Solita again despite the city being full of restaurants that intrigue and tempt me. Perhaps this should be rectified with more visits to Manchester and every other time I'll visit somewhere different...
Here are the pictures from the time before visit...
Catalan Burger (grilled chorizo, roasted red peppers, manchego cheese and roasted tomato aiolo) - absolutely superb.
The Big Manc
The Big Manc next to a pint glass for perspective
A burger of size it comes with a sizeable price tag - £15.90. A challenge for those with big appetites.
37 Turner Street