We were planning to dine at Solea’s back in February and finally managed to do lunch there 2 weeks ago. The husband has brought up this Tapas place to me and I’ve been wanting to try it since then. Since we’ve been meaning to try out their Tapas there for quite a while, we went all out from sangria, tapas, paella to dessert on our maiden trip there.
Solea is located in somewhat an eclectic downtown Waltham on Moody Street. There were many ethnic stores and restaurants as well as interesting shops on this street. Solea’s establishment is surprisingly bigger than I expected. The interior is quite decently decorated. I do love the whimsical pendant lights at the bar. There weren’t much people in there at lunch hour. I forgot what time we arrived. But, maybe we were seated at the quieter side of the dining area. Like I mentioned, Solea’s premises is bigger than I expected.
We skimmed through the menu and already knew what we wanted to order. We ordered a pitcher of Sangria @ $20 for the two of us. =) A basket of cold crusty bread (Bottom Left) arrived along with an amazingly addictive spread. It was so good, I couldn’t stop eating it. The husband had to hide it from me. I later found out that the spread was made from a mixture of red beans (I wonder if it was red lentil, actually), parmesan, pepper and spices. SO GOOD!!!!!
Here’re the 3 tapas (Bottom Right) we ordered to share (while waiting for the paella to arrive):
1) Patatas Bravas - Wild, Hot & Spicy Potatoes @ $5.00 (Right). The garlic sauce and the spicy sauce were so good! The potatoes were tender. It would have been nicer if they were crispier on the outside. But these were definitely better than the ones we had in Tasca.
2) Camarao Piri Piri - Grilled Shrimp with Piri Piri Sauce @ $7.00 (Left). The succulent shrimp was slightly charred and that gave the shrimp a nice smoky flavor. The Piri Piri sauce on the other hand was just ok. It was spicy and to me there weren’t much flavors to it.
3) Pato Braseado, Roasted Duckling with Berry Sauce @ $8.50 (Center). This is absolutely divinely delicious!!!!!!! The duck leg was (fried or roasted…I forgot) perfectly. The meat wasn’t very gamey and very moist in the inside. The berry sauce definitely goes well with the duck.
And then came one of the thing we missed most after our trip to Europe; Paella! We ordered their Paella Valenciana - Chorizo, Pork Sausage, Chicken, Shrimp, Squid, Scallops, Clams & Mussels cooked in Saffron Rice @ $24.00 (Bottom Left). It came so beautifully assembled in a Paella pan. It was truly food art! Colors were amazing! There were so much seafood that you hardly see the rice. Seafood were generous, fresh and tasty. The paella was overall good. I did not care for the huge chunks of artichokes though.
For dessert, we ordered their Vanilla Flan @ $6.00 (Bottom Right). This unfortunately was very disappointing. The flan wasn’t smooth. It had so much air bubbles that it felt like eating sponge (not that I’ve eaten it before). It’s shameful that I could make better ones than this. And this not very yummy flan cost us $6. Boo! I would have sent this back if they waiter were to asked me how was dessert.=p
Overall, I will be back! I will drag the husband back for tapas, paella, sangria and anything but their flan! Service that day was impeccable! They were very attentive (I hope this remains true even when they are swamped!) and they even gave us new sets of plates, silverware and napkins just before our paella came. Flamenco played in the background throughout our meal which gave the whole dining experience even more Spanish like! Their prices may be a little higher (compared to Tasca’s), but the quality of food (and service) compensates for their higher prices!
What are you waiting for?? Grab your friends for some yummy Sangria and tapas!! There are public metered parking (and quite affordable) available behind the shops. Check out their menu HERE. Here’s their location:
388 Moody Street
Waltham, MA 02453-5204