Brunch Done Bigger

Love brunching? Your world just got better.  Cleveland is doing brunch bigger and bolder with every passing weekend, and we now boast a two day brunch event each weekend at Sol. 

Starting today brunching in downtown Willoughby is not just for Sundays anymore! Sol has extended their brunch offerings to Saturdays (#BrunchDoneBIGGER).

PB+J Stuffed Brioche French Toast

Sol is a scratch kitchen that combines a melting pot of flavors from many regions. My beloved Spainish cuisine being the main influence. They’ve recently upped they menu game with elevated tapas, entrees and salads are created from locally sourced food and ingredients (See previous post, Sol:Redefined).  The new brunch menu promises to do the same.
Owner David Bartulovic says he’s allowed his chefs to create a playful blend of breakfast and lunch.

Chorizo Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

“This new brunch menu is designed to cater to everyone. The goal was to find a happy medium and serve customers in a bigger way – finding that right balance between breakfast foods, lunch foods and exotic hybrids of the two with larger portions, said Bartulovic.

Bacon and Egg Tacos

Menu items include traditional brunch fan favorites such as grilled flank steak, chicken and a stack of waffles drizzled with maple syrup and the cubano combined with new items like cerveza con queso hash, avocado + egg enchiladas, Spanish sunrise flatbreads, chorizo sausage gravy with house made biscuit and the decadent pb + j stuffed french toast, a peanut butter filled brioche topped with macerated berry and agave whipped cream.

Orange You Glad hot cocktail

Sol’s mixologists have also been hard at work on a selection of new “Hot Cocktails” that mix delicious hot chocolate or coffee with other ingredients – and made with or without alcohol. The “tropicocoa” among this list includes tequila, hot cocoa, coconut milk and agave.  These are in addition to the array of flavored mimosas and fan favorite custom-blended Bloody Mary drinks that helped them earn Cleveland Magazine’s Best of the East Brunch title.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m .to 3 p.m. Sol is located at 38257 Glenn Ave. in Willoughby, OH.

Sol: Redefined

It’s a tall order to offer up something on a menu in Cleveland these days that isn’t already being done somewhere else.  But they’re doing it at Sol, in downtown Willoughby.  The Spanish-inspired scratch kitchen has just launched a new menu, retaining the favorite flavors from the year-old restaurant, but rethinking the structure and approach to make its food more affordable.

The inviting and eclectic dining room, and sprawling patio are the perfect setting for the  experience ownership and kitchen staff are going for, a modern communal and social dining experience.  The changes to their menu will also facilitate that.  Tapas!  They’re not appetizers, more like shared small plates.  I know, it seems like the same thing…but they’re not.  For example, Brussel Sprouts.  Can you imagine ordering a Brussels Sprouts appetizer?  But these are among their best selling dishes when offered as a tapa.


The restructured menu has broken down some of their former entrees into tapas format (with 15 different options), and added a “between bread” section, to shave down the price points, and contribute to a more casual feel.  Affordability and approachability are the two most important goals for ownership right now, they tell me.  Their menu items formerly ranged from $7-$26, but now are between $5-$14 (the traditionally-sized entrees are more, but still less than they were before).  Favorites like their famous flank steak and juicy double bone-in pork chop will remain on the menu.  Phew!

I got a nice sampling of the new offerings, including Spanish Flatbread with Catalan sauce, the crispy Brussel Sprouts, Braised Pork Tacos with charred cabbage and smoked pepper aioli, and a General’s Fried Chicken (my favorite!).  All packed the bold flavors, you’ve come to expect from Chef Michael Schoen.  That chicken was crazy good.  Makes me want to try the rest of it!


Schoen says no menu is ever final, and they’re looking forward to hearing from diners about the changes. They’ve been tweaking ingredients and portion sizes throughout Sol’s first year, culminating with this new menu, full of shareable conversation pieces.

Now, he and ownership hope to see people’s impressions of Sol expand from a “special occasion” destination.  They want their Lake County clientele to think of the downtown Willoughby location as a destination for a fun, uptown communal dining experience, where people will eat leisurely, indulging in the elevated menu of tapas and relaxed atmosphere.

Sol is located in downtown Willoughby at 38257 Glen Ave.

Wholey Cow!

Culinary worlds will collide at a mouth-watering event, hosted at a cool new venue.  Local Sol presents the first annual “Wholey Cow” event on Sunday, February 28th.  And like the title suggests, they’re bringing in a whole cow.  Yowza.

chef michael schoen

Chef Michael Schoen has recruited five other talented local chefs to develop the menu and prepare the feast.  He’s got my buddy, and former Iron Chef competition partner, Matt Mytro, plus Joe Lang, of Flour, Chef Mike Keyerleber, from Great Scott Tavern, Hunter Toth from The Morehouse, and Paul Hamalainen, of Beach Club Bistro.

Whole cow

The team will divvy up the cuts and make a monster sized buffet that will satisfy any appetite.  Oh yeah…and it’s all you can eat.  SOLD!

If that wasn’t enough to clear your calendar…they have also paired up with Platform Beer Co. to offer featured brew, also all you can drink.  CHEERS!

The buffet will also be stocked with items for Vegans, Vegetarians and those adhering to the Gluten Free lifestyle, so no need to stay home if you follow any of those diets.

I had brunch at Local Sol (38257 Glenn Avenue Willoughby, OH 44094) over the weekend, and loved the transformation they’ve pulled off in the space.  What used to be the formal dining room of an Italian restaurant (Gavi’s) is now a cross between a cantina, a tiki bar and a Salvador Dali painting.  So many cool design elements that you might miss if you’re not looking for them.

Loved the ceiling, the Bloody Mary bar, and the drift wood decor.  And your eye is immediately drawn to the lights hanging down the middle of the main dining room, brought in from St. Mary’s Church in Painesville, Ohio.

Local Sol church lights

It’s easy to see how this space will become a great party atmosphere.  To amp up that aspect, the event planners have live music lined up throughout the afternoon and evening. “SB and the Lovelies” And “DJ Shawn Brewster” will be spinning records 3-5, trio 5-7, and DJ @ 7:00pm.

Tickets will run you $75.  Click here to buy.

But I have your chance to WIN A PAIR of tickets to this foodie bash.  Mark your calendar, and set an alert.  The twentieth person to call Local Sol at 2pm on Wednesday, Feb. 17th, will win a pair of tickets to Wholey Cow.  (440) 918-1596. Good luck.  See you there!