Last Sunday morning was a brunch morning if ever there was one, after an incredibly hectic/amusing Saturday packed with food events and wandering around Manchester in silly neon outfits, cold and saturated from the rain…..don’t ask! Before heading back over the Pennines the day after, I wanted to visit one of Manchester’s brunch places I keep reading about.
Since my days as a Liverpool Uni student (many moons ago), I’ve had fond memories of the city from regular visits and many memorable meals. In later years my boyfriend (other half now) worked in the city, so I used to treat myself during school holidays by getting the train across, we’d meet for lunch then get the late train home. Manchester and it’s surrounding areas has SO many fantastic places for food and drink lovers, I wish I had more time to explore my old haunts as well catch up on all I’ve missed.
Armed with six recommendations from Leeds based blogger Lisa Farrell (Where’s Lisa) and renowned food blogger Hungry Hoss, I noticed most were in the city’s Northern Quarter, an area I absolutely love for it’s cultural vibrancy and of course, great places to eat and drink, thankfully not too far away. Out of the six I opted for Solita, one I’d read much about in the past, taking the lead and dragging my mates along with me. We were in need of a good feed and knowing it was a popular spot I was glad to see just two other small groups in situ when we arrived.
One of the first things I always look for on a brunch menu are cocktails, I blame this all on a trip to visit friends in Dublin, where brunch with cocktails is A MUST!! They had four on the go and two of us went for the Blood Orange Mimosa, arriving a few minutes after our order was taken. Just what the doctor ordered too, as it was refreshing and fruity, with a hint of prosecco booze in the background.
The menu is full of classics with a twist, such as Steak & eggs Benedict and Truffled egg on toast. One friend was gagging for pancakes and went for their Buttermilk pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and whipped maple butter, while the other was saving herself for lunch so a bagel with cream cheese was her choice. I on the other hand fancied something a little different, the Uovo Pomodoro just sang out to me, especially with the option for added Nduja sausage.
You’d think taking an order of just three things can’t be that hard, but when the waitress comes back on two separate occasions to ask what we ordered, my friends and I found it baffling. The two other tables had already ordered so she didn’t have to remember much else.
I’d already got an eyeful of the food brought to the table behind us, so on the food front it looked promising. On arrival we weren’t disappointed and they hadn’t been stingy on their portions either. Being quite a simple dish there wasn’t a lot to hide behind, so any imperfections would be obvious with my baked eggs.
Thankfully the eggs were perfect – runny in the middle and slowly oozed out. The sauce itself was in plentiful supply and full of flavour from the tomatoes. The added Nduja was an inspired addition giving it extra body and heat. However, the soldiers were stated as Sourdough, it was more like a farmhouse white loaf which was ok, but not what I’d expected in the slightest. They still did the job, but I was disappointed not to get Sourdough!
My friend’s pancakes also looked pretty good, the bacon was crisp and the pancakes were fluffy so she was happy on the whole. There was a lot of syrup on the plate which I think made it a little bit much by the end, so I helped her to polish off the last few bits.
With a 12:01 train to catch it was time to head back, I ordered the bill, but once again the service let the place down as they’d completely forgotten about it and it had to be asked for again.
Altogether our bill for 3 people was just under £38.
I’d recommend Solita for the food, but the service could be improved.
Food: tasty, lots of choice for the hungriest of diner wanting brunch, cocktails are always a plus in my mind too!
Service: The staff were pleasant enough, but overall it was a little sketchy, quite forgetful and a little slow.
Atmosphere: Decent atmosphere with relaxed, typical Sunday morning feel.Solita NQ Turner Street Manchester M4 1DW 0161 839 2200 http://www.solita.co.uk