Solita, Manchester

Yes, I’ve been away for a while. Things have been super busy, from moving to Carnforth, starting a new job (and being let go because it made me very ill with stress and anxiety), running a ukulele club in Carnforth, spending more time at the amazing pub in Carnforth where I run my ukulele club there, moving back to Preston, and then being part of the team behind A Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, where along with helping run the social media, I did the backstage catering making a whopping 120 sandwiches and sorting out other snacks for the artists, running up and down COUNTLESS stairs, and helping pack the festival away, I’ve been a bit busy. However, I’ve just been reading Bacon On The Beech’s latest posts and decided it’s about time I pulled my finger out and caught up on my backlog.

In late July (YES, THIS IS HOW FAR BEHIND I AM!) my wonderful girlfriend and I visited Manchester for four days of filling our faces. Our first stop was at a favourite with food bloggers, Solita in the Northern Quarter (they now have a gaff in Didsbury, very lah-di-dah, right?). Now I apologise in advance if some of the following reviews get vague in areas, it’s been ages since, and I’ve changed my phone and lost any notes I had made. Sorry about that

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The place was completely empty when we visited, but it was about 1pm on a Monday, so that explains that.

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We ordered drinks, I had a pint of SolitaBrau, and Sara had a drink off the specials board, it was red. Yes, sorry about the vagueness off that…

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Food was ordered, and to keep us going until burgers arrived, we ordered some bacon fat popcorn, because: bacon fat.

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When you got a bit of popcorn that was particularly bacon fatty, these were delicious. When you got a piece that hadn’t been baptised with bacon, it was… well, popcorn. More bacon fat wouldn’t go a miss, but that’s probably just because I am a fattyboombatty.

After a fair bit of waiting, considering how quiet Solita was, burgers finally arrived.

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Sara had the Bacon Double Cheese Burger,

“2 ounces of melted cheese, crispy bacon, ketchup, toasted brioche bun, held with a slice of bacon candy.”

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I’ve seen photos of this burger on Solita’s twitter account, loads of them lined up on the pass, and I couldn’t help think that in such a quiet period, could they not be bothered to pick out a more impressive piece of bacon candy? It wasn’t holding it together, it was only just stuck into the bun. Still, it tasted good, again, see: bacon.

I opted for the Solita, now renamed the Smokehouse burger, of which 50p went to charity, so that was nice.

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Wow! What a mountain of meat!

“Smoked brisket chilli, Lancashire cheese, home pickles, BBQ sauce.”

The brisket chilli was melt in the mouth tender, and was the perfect level of spice. The Lancashire cheese and BBQ sauce where a bit lost, though. The only other thing was Sara can’t eat rare meat, so knowing that Solita serves burgers medium, she asked for hers well done, and mine to be medium, but both were cooked well done, just a little issue, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the burger, as I’d not tried a pink burger yet at this point, so I didn’t know any difference.

Still, that brisket chilli, I’d quite happily come to Solita just for a portion of that with some fries.

We also ordered a side of Deep Fried Pickles, which were forgotten about until I reminded our waitress.

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Coated in Panko breadcrumbs, crispy and comforting and tangy inside. Sara and I both bloody love pickles, so these were heavenly. Word of advice, let them cool a bit first, not that they will burn your tongue, but they taste so much better and less of hot oil when they have cooled down.

Solita is definitely somewhere I will return to in Manchester, there’s just so many things I want to try off the menu, I just hope I get my burger cooked how I want it next time.

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