Today Burger Lad® received another guest review from our favourite reviewer Andrew, now dubbed the Principal Burger Critic. I won’t even taint his excellent review further so here now I pass you over…
What they say:
Pulled pork, buttermilk fried chicken, onion rings, beef and bone marrow patty, Monterey Jack cheese, BBQ sauce.
Calories: Where we're going, we don't need calories.
I am not Adam Richman and I am not Burger Lad®, so this was always going to be a very difficult challenge.
As I was walking to the place, I had Rammstein's "Links 2,3,4" playing on the iPod. It really felt like I was going into battle.
A battle with a Beast.
SoLIta is a one-off, tucked away in Manchester's Northern Quarter. It's pretty unassuming from the outside. Blink and you miss it, and the view from the window is of a 60s concrete multi-storey car park. They are pretty well known for their original burger- the Big Manc, but I was here for something altogether more epic.
The Once In A Lifetime.
I was early. At weekends, lunch starts at 1 and they still had the brunch menu on. They do, however, sell breakfast martinis, invented by Sr Calabrese of the Lanesborough in London. Marvellous. If I have to wait a bit until I can order my behemoth, it might as well be with one of the very best drinks man has ever created (Gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and marmalade).
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Once in A Lifetime burger by SoLIta Manchester.
|Early morning wake-up call at SoLIta...|
SoLIta has an Inka grill. I haven't seen it, but it's mentioned on their website as well as on the giant blackboard behind the bar. Does it make things tasty? Let's find out.
I put my order in, with ten minutes to go, as I sip my breakfast martini. Oh, sweet nectar of the gods.
I wasn't asked how I wanted my burger cooked, but I have to assume they know what they are doing. As I wait, I'm noticing how friendly the staff are. Everybody is smiling and the place is a pretty slick, happy operation.
I also note a strange male uniformity, both in SoLIta and outside on the street. Young men with skin-tight jeans and hair cut high back and sides, with the remaining hair slicked back, complemented by some form of beard. Is that a "thing" at the moment? The same look is everywhere, and granted it is a bit better than mullets and shell suits, but it's ironic to see people express their "individuality" in exactly the same way as everybody else.
I'm torn from this sociological train of thought by the arrival of my burger. It blotted out the sun. Just look at it!
First thoughts - this thing is massive by anybody's standards. Huge. The burger itself sat on the bottom, covered by a thick chunk of fried chicken, covered by onion rings, covered by a mountain of pulled pork and interspersed with cheese and sauce. It was a thing of great beauty.
|Once in a lifetime...|
The burger at the bottom didn't have any pink, but it certainly wasn't over-cooked and was oozing flavour. The main taste coming through was the pork when I managed to get a cross section. Getting a cross section was extremely difficult.
By the way, it was held together by a wooden spike which ordinarily I'd remove. But on this occasion, picking it up to bite was not an option, so I left the spike in, and used my knife and fork.
Tasty doesn't begin to describe this. As I said, the pork comes through strongest, and I do think it could benefit from a bit more cheese, but the beef and the chicken definitely contribute their share. I'd say the flavour pyramid was sauce, pork, beef, chicken, cheese, onion rings in that order.
The tenderness of the beef and the pork, the crispness of the onion rings and fried chicken, and the ooziness of the sauce and cheese all bounced off each other wonderfully on the palate.
The bun was good too. Shiny, glazed, sesame-topped and not too soft. It seemed like just the right container for this burger.
|#burgerporn at its finest...|
The fries that came with it (upgrades were available) were adequate. Not outstanding, but crispy, tasty and with a generous amount of potato skin remaining.
As time went on I encountered what Mr Richman would describe as the Food Wall and that was the end of that. Lest it be said I didn't finish my burger, I did actually finish the burger part of it. And the chicken. But it was the pulled pork that kept me from glory. There was just so much of it, and as incredibly tender and tasty as it was, it was beyond my reach.
The bill came to £26.20 but that did include a mammoth burger, fries, a pint of beer and the martini, so I suppose it's reasonable.
So, once in a lifetime? I don't know. I'd definitely have it again were it not for the several other things on SoLIta's menu I'd love to try next time.
Would you like to see the dessert menu?
Thanks again to Andrew for checking out this amazing burger from SoLIta. If you would like to submit us a guest review and get shares in your number one urban burger review website get in touch above!
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