Solita Foodhall - The Terrace, Harrogate
The Outdoor Terrace
If you cast your mind back to last spring you'll remember we experienced an unusually dry period with long spells of warm sunshine. Perfect weather for dining outside.
Fast forward 12 months and temperatures that are more akin of late October or early March are not really conducive to eating outside. A cool north wind blows, the sky bears rain clouds and we sit with our coats on, scarf too. Welcome to the British spring.
As we have been denied out of eating out for so long it seems we will put up with anything the British weather can throw at us, all in the name of being able to get out of the house for what feels like a novelty experience.
The Solita food chain have taken over the premises of the old Jamie Oliver restaurant in Harrogate - complete with an outdoor terrace on the first floor. For anyone with mobility problems there is even a lift to take you up to freezing central.
On a summer's day it will be a welcome addition to the town’s dining scene. For now though only the brave seem to want to venture out.
Cheeseburger Spring Rolls
As we dine we are joined momentarily by two fellow customers, but they swiftly depart as soon as the cold north wind gives a blast. Thankfully the food is good enough to endure the chills.
The plan when the terrace opens fully is have a selection of meals, such as a Rotisserie and Grill, a Pizza selection, Fish Bar and a Meat and Cheese selection, as well as Solita's better known burgers.
Things seem to have come on a bit since I visited the Solita restaurant in York, when the burgers were a bit drab and soggy.
The Cheeseburger Spring Rolls might seem a bit pricey at £7.00 and I thought they tasted more like a cheesy haggis.
Smoke Break Burger with Nacho Fries
The burgers cost £9.00 for an 4oz single burger or £11.50 for an 8oz double stacked burger, which come served in a toasted brioche bun along with a house 'slaw' - the latter was spot on. Apparently the chef makes it fresh every morning. Sides such as Deep Dripping Cracked Fries (£3.00) or Nacho Fries (£4.00) are extra.
My Smoke Break Burger served double stacked came with some tender smoked brisket, BBQ sauce and smoked cheese. It tasted far better than the one I was presented with in York. Mind you with an Arctic wind blowing in your face anything hot is bound to taste good.
My sister sampled the Bacon Double Cheese which was beefy and wholesome, a good fresh meal.
Apparently the restaurant serves bottles of champagne too, which, apparently, has proved quite popular, bear in mind though this is Harrogate.
By extending their range beyond burgers I think Solita is on to a winner. Byrons didn’t work out in Harrogate as they sold just burgers,and they never built up a faithful clientele.
When the warmer days arrive the Terrace will be an asset and deserves to be a success.
As we ventured back through into the restaurant the warmth felt like the return of a long lost friend.
It might have been cold out on the terrace but it was still better than any lockdown.
Solita Foodhall, Parliament Street, Harrogate HG1 2RE