When D and I learned that chefs Kurtis Jantz and Chad Galiano were launching Sol Kitchen with our friend Steve, we were excited. After all we’ve had many opportunities to taste the chefs’ food at many-a-Cobaya dinner and we know that they always put out great food. But it wasn’t until the announcement NFL Sol Sundays early last week of that we had a chance to get a taste of what Sol Kitchen has in store.
The idea behind Sol Sundays is that instead of going to a bar where you’ll likely spend a lot on beer and food, you allow Sol Kitchen to bring everything but the beer to your door. And when I say everything, I mean you only have to buy drinks and have a working TV because your food will arrive together with paper plates, utensils and a roll of paper towels.
Packages are for six people and cost $150 for two snacks, a choice of two out of three “touchdowns” (the more substantial food), two sides and dessert (that’s a very reasonable $25 per person). Pay $180 for the “man-up” package and get all three “touchdowns.” We ordered the latter.
The food arrived before noon neatly packaged and labeled along with a “playbook” that had instructions on how to get the food ready for serving. I preheated the oven to 200 F and threw in the dishes that required heating. Because the oven was at a low temperature I didn’t feel the need to constantly watch over the food, which was a nice perk and allowed me to watch the game enjoy the company of friends. The only other thing I did was transfer some of the food into serving bowls but that wasn’t entirely necessary. I’m sure if it were a bunch of guys watching football they probably wouldn’t have bothered with serving trays.
What followed was quite the feast because what we got was a generous amount of good, so(u)l-ful food. Taking a cue from the playbook, here’s the breakdown of our football Sunday.
Kick-off: Cracka-jax and Chips & Dip
Now that I had stuff in the oven, I set out the snacks in bowls. One word about the Cracka-jax: addictive. Kettle chips were served with a charred scallion dip that had a great smoky flavor.
Jock’tail Bloody “Hail Mary”
This wasn’t your average jello shot. It was a bloody mary in jello form topped with pickled jalapeño and celery whip. I didn’t set these out on the table but rather waited until most guests arrived and passed them around. It was a fun way to preface the meal and the little shots were nice conversation starters.
Here’s where we got into some serious eating. I warmed up the potato buns for the Sol Roll (a play on the lobster roll that uses shrimp in a light, creamy dressing with scallions and dill) and then took them to the table with the chilled shrimp and celery leaves for garnish. The shrimp had a great texture and flavor. I really loved this dish.
The “grid iron” wings were smoky and tender and I liked that they were served with a good helping of grilled peppers and onions. Thin slices of Korean barbecue pork were served on a bread roll topped with a kimchee slaw that had guests asking for more.
Because we ordered the “man up” package, Sol Kitchen threw in two sides that weren’t on the first week’s menu. One was corn on the cob with butter and coconut and the other was a German-style potato salad that I’m still savoring. This isn’t that mushy potato salad covered in insane amounts of dressing. No, you could actually taste the potatoes. The good news for future customers is that the two sides are now standard in all packages. At this point more than one person was ready to roll over to the couch but we still had dessert.
“Break out the brownies,” the playbook says. Despite the cries of “I ate too much” and “I’m so full” no one refused a brownie. And these were as decadent as they get: bourbon brownies with pecans and dulce de leche. How could anyone refuse?
End of game
Zzz … zzz … zzz …
The Sol Sunday food was a huge hit and it made our Sunday football gathering a breeze to host. Little work was involved and set-up and clean-up was easy. To us it was a great value for the convenience and quality of the food. And those aluminum pans in which the food arrived were perfect to pack up some leftovers for our guests. Because, yes, there were leftovers.