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23rd Annual Golden Fork Awards

Best Mexican Cuisine

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Red snapper at Solea

Aside from the food of his Mexican hometown and professional cuisine, Eduardo Sanchez’ most memorable meals are those eaten at his mother’s home every Sunday like clockwork. Sanchez owns and operates Solea Mexican Grill, with locations in Neenah, Menasha and Appleton, where his team works hard to treat each guest like part of the family.

“When they ask me: where do I work?, I say I work in the hospitality business,” Sanchez says. “Food is a little part of the whole business.”

In addition to the quality of the food – like Sanchez’ favorite huachinango alcaparrado, or red snapper with capers – the proper service remains key to its presentation. Hospitality and community involvement go “de la mano” (hand in hand) here.

“We do a lot of stuff for the community, because we believe – and when I say ‘we,’ I’m talking about all my employees and myself – we believe that we’re here because of them,” Sanchez said.

The vibrant hues of Solea’s interior: warm red walls and ceilings embellished by bright limes and marigold suns, draw visitors in like the Veracruz port. The staff chat in Spanish, breaking off to welcome customers.

“Everyone who walks through the door, we know them very well… It’s not another customer for us; it’s like a guest, like family,” Sanchez said. “My employees always hug people, always shake hands, always smile. We go above and beyond what people expect, that’s what we try to do.” —LZ

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