On my concise list of go-to places in Cleveland I have officially inducted a newcomer, SOHO. Located in Ohio City on W. 25th, I have fallen madly in love with this restaurant. I adore their drinks, small plates, dinners, and now, brunch. After my “May Celebration” on Saturday night I was ready for a hearty brunch around noon on Saturday. After debating where would have a patio we settled on SOHO. I had been there twice before. Once on the day it opened and then later with another couple for dinner.
The first time Boyface and I stopped up was the Friday it opened. We had late reservations at Crop and were curious to try a drink at SOHO. I order the Nag’s Head and it was a little too smoky for me, but still delicious and different none the less. We split “S’uthern Snacks,” which is a mix of country ham, a variety of cheeses, and preserves. Yes, the cheese and ham were great but the preserves steal the show for me! We were sitting at the bar admiring the full stock of whiskey and bourbon, and couldn’t help but notice that prior to the public opening most of the bourbon bottles were near empty…I knew I would love this place!
The second time we dined at SOHO we were with another couple and actually sat at a table. I ordered “The Charleston” and it was delightful- gin, watermelon juice, ginger liqueur, and lime. Drinks do not get anymore “southern hospitality” than this! Though I cannot remember what everyone got, I can say all were pleased with their selections. I order the spicy shrimp po’boy. It was reminiscent of the crawdad po’boys I’ve had in New Orleans. The mix of okra relish, sweet corn, the remoulade, and juicy shrimp was heavenly! I’m not usually one for spicy foods but this dish bordered on the correct side of super flavorful and not just super stinking hot.
The last time I was there, this past Sunday, was the best experience yet! We were able to sit outside on the patio, under an umbrella, with an attentive, warm server…I think it was Chrissy? Christy? Just water for me but Boyface ordered the Bourbon & Bubbles and did not regret it. First the biscuits came out, they were fluffy and flaky but the best part was the salted butter and strawberry, rhubarb jelly to go with them. Rhubarb is one of my all time favorite ingredients, so yet again the preserves at SOHO were amazing. Though tempted to order the ever-trendy Chicken and Waffles I made an audible and ordered the Chicken-Fried Pork Salad. The deciding factor were the deviled eggs on the side. I love SOHO’s deviled eggs. When the dish arrived I was enamored. It’s not exactly salad. It’s more like a huge serving of yummy, tender, meaty fried pork served with a huge piece of lettuce on top. Of course there was bacon, avocado, corn, and tomatoes but the pork stole the show. I would get this dish every brunch if I wasn’t so sure there are other worthy menu items.
My partner-in-crime, aka. Mr. Unbrunchable, ordered the Shrimp & Grits. I had a forkful and was very impressed. It’s no secret that he thinks brunch is overrated, but the tides may have turned after this experience. We know he must have been onto something when we heard our waitress tell another table there weren’t many Shrimp & Grits dishes left. Something about grits, shrimp scampi, mushrooms, and asparagus on a hot Sunday afternoon while sipping bourbon that was simply perfect.
Eating at SOHO on Sunday reminded me of being at a fun, upscale family cookout. Nolan (I think) and Molly (for sure), the chef and partner were out on the patio talking to friends and Sophie, the cutest little redhead darling of a girl was running around. In addition to the décor they filled the environment with smiles and friendliness. I truly can’t wait to come back!