Last year at about this time, we got to experience SOL Mexican Cocina when it first opened on the completely rebuilt, east side of Columbine Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Cherry Creek North. The restaurant space itself was impressive with an amazing patio (we named it one of our favorites recently) and vibrant artwork. The food impressed us too, full of flavor, unique combinations and fresh as could be. We returned for brunch and found the same old same old – in other words, great stuff but with a breakfast slant.
SOL’s brunch menu isn’t vast. It has essentials, carried out well and really, as long as there is some variety, that’s all a restaurant really needs to accomplish. Do what you do really well, we say. In addition to the salsa and black bean dip they bring to every table, we ordered the Naked Guacamole ($9) with avocados, cilantro, lime, onions, serrano chiles and tomatoes. In case you are wondering, a less naked guacamole would be the Guacamole Sol topped with mango, tequila, creamy goat cheese, toasted pepitas and cilantro.
Two of us went with egg-centric dishes and loved the textures and flavors made all the more exciting by the various salsas used. Huevos Ranchos ($12.75) came as three(!) fried eggs over easy, on corn tortillas with refried black beans, topped with their fresh tomato salsa ranchera, roasted poblano chiles, cheese and avocado. Add bacon or chorizo to it and it’s $15.75.
The Breakfast Burrito ($11) was a monster with a Mexican sunrise-colored, Sonoran-style large flour tortilla filled with Huevos Mexicanos, cheese, refried black beans, avocado, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos and onion.
Expecting French Toast, Souffle Carlotta ($11.75) is SOL’s unique version with a very rich, creamy bread pudding spiked with Patron Citronge and lemon zest, butter-sauteed and drizzled with organic agave syrup, topped with mango, berries, vanilla whipped cream, almonds and powdered sugar. Add bacon or chorizo and it’s $13.25. Delicious, it really went beyond the expectation for a breakfast dish, teetering into the dessert realm.
While some people may be reading this saying “and the problem with dessert for breakfast would be….?” we found ourselves wishing we’d had something a little more savory. Maybe the Crab and Shrimp Benedicto ($17.50) with crisply-fried crab and shrimp cakes topped with poached eggs and an intriguing chipotle-orange hollandaise sauce, served with double smoked bacon, avocado and refried black beans! Or for the table, Papas “Papi” ($10), a heap of fried breakfast potatoes and onions smothered in melted cheese, crema, chorizo, bacon, serrano chiles, green onions and pico de gallo. Add 3 butter-fried eggs to top it and it’s $12.50. But then we wished we’d had that Souffle Carlotta to round out the meal because it was delicioso!