For years to come people will talk of “The Northern Quarter Burger Rush” of 2013. Men arguing into the night over whose are better, who’s are more inventive, who wins on calorie count and most importantly; who has come up with the best burger pun name.
At the forefront of ‘The Rush’ are SoLita, pioneering and trailblazing with their KFB (Melted Monterey Jack cheese, Jalapenos, Bourbon BBQ sauce and Kentucky Fried bacon) and the fabled Big-Manc (2 x 6 ounce minced chuck steak patties, trifecta brioche,iceberg,home pickles, Monterey Jack cheese and Big Manc Sauce.) I think it’s fair to say that the art of doing one thing well really does apply here.
But SoLita aren’t just a 1 trick pony and as the Northern Quarters diversity flexes month on month, so too must it’s businesses. Ribs,Wings,Rings ‘ n’ Things (Baby back ribs,chicken wings, beer battered onion rings with fried cornmeal jalapenos, caperberries and charcoal grilled sweetcorn) is for me SoLita’s signature small plate and recently it’s been joined by some new contenders.
Undertaking a taster session at SoLita is no small task, so it’s a pint of “Top Hop” (a brilliant ale on tap) and on to the small plates and starters. Solita popcorn, Lucky 7: 7 ingredient layered dip with dipping chips, Crispy fried chicken livers with neck bone gravy, Eggplant fritters with garlic marinara sauce. Quite a line up. It was all about the Chicken Livers, crispy pieces of crumbly goodness with a neck bone gravy, which I’d previously never even heard of.
Then I moved onto something I would never have associated with SoLita, Steak Tartare. In the form of a DIY board, a bowl of tasty steak prime to be mixed with egg, black pepper, salt, onions, anchovy paste and more. A nice addition if not slightly out of place amongst it’s fried, grilled and melted counterparts.
The first of the 2 latest burgers to hit ‘The Rush’ – The Blue; Dolcelatte,red onion relish,rocket and the venues namesake ‘Solita; Smoked brisket chilli,Lancashire cheese,home pickles. I’m just gonna jump right in with the statement “I don’t like Blue Cheese” – it seems to have rolled off the tongue of everyone I’ve spoken to since this burger, the response I developed was simple; But have you ever had it melted on a burger? which I think is a fair enough point. I’m not the type of guy who orders a cheese board instead of cake and you won’t find me solely tucking into a block of Manchego anytime soon but I did enjoy The Blue.
The namesake was another step on for me. An excellent option for anyone undecided when it comes to crunch time and you’ve got to commit to a choice. Smoked brisket chilli,Lancashire cheese and home pickles. This is what SoLita do well and it’ll certainly feature in my next trip.
So in summary SoLita is still very much up there for me, always bustling, always good service and always willing to change that specials board with something I wasn’t quite expecting. My advice is go off piste; order something you never would or even better get someone else to choose you a random dish, odds on you’ll love it.