04th Aug2011

a boatful of joy

by amjansen

Photo by Anne Jansen

This Cherry Boat is my absolute favorite treat from Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery in Solvang. Olsen’s is one of my all-time favorite places to eat, and with good reason. Their pastries are made by a real pro — you’ll be hard-pressed to find a crust more delectably flaky, fillings more perfectly formed, and sweets more visually appealing than these. Of course, there are definitely a number of good bakeries in Solvang, but this one is one of the best. In the winter, Olsen creates a giant gingerbread house (about 4 feet tall) elaborately decorated with icing and puts it out on display in the main eating area. But the sweets…oh, the sweets are available year-round. The staff is friendly (if a bit inattentive), and their laissez faire style makes lingering an acceptable activity. Give this one a try if you’re ever in the area!
Olsen's Danish Village Bakery on Urbanspoon

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01st Aug2011

a Danish brew-venture

by amjansen

Photo by Anne Jansen

I went to the Solvang Brewing Company a few months ago, just after it opened. I ordered the Baja Burger (pictured above) with the veggie patty, and a mix of sweet potato and regular French fries. The meal was delicious, and even though the service was rather slow (which I believe was partly due to the newness of the restaurant — the kinks were still being worked out), our waitress was friendly. When she accidentally brought us an extra order of the Cream of Carrot soup (pictured below), she left it with us…on the house. It was a surprising and delicious treat, and remains one of the best soups I’ve ever had. While I can’t speak to how the service is now, I can attest to the originality of the menu and the tastiness of the dishes. It’s about time Solvang got a brewery!

Photo by Anne Jansen

Solvang Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

 

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29th Jul2011

danish “pancakes”

by amjansen

Photo by Anne Jansen

I grew up in the next town over from the Danish village of Solvang, California, so the breakfast dish known as the æbelskiver was nothing foreign to me. It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized how rare this particular food is in the US. In Solvang, the best place to get your æbelskivers is at the Solvang Restaurant. Served in sets of 3, the æbelskivers are nice and fluffy on the inside, and piping hot to boot. The smathering of raspberry jam adds flavor to them, and the dusting of powdered sugar tops off the whole thing perfectly. If you’re ever near Solvang and have the chance to swing by the Solvang Restaurant, give the æbelskivers a try! And for those omnivores out there, the medisterpølse (Danish sausage) is a real treat, too. When I ate meat, I used to love a nice meal of æbelskivers and medisterpølse. Mmmm!
Solvang Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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05th Apr2011

off the menu

by amjansen

photo by Anne Jansen

The Mandarin Touch (no website available) is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley. Its new location is posh and contemporary, and the food definitely keeps up with the decor. I ordered some Hunan Tofu, and it was not only delicious, but beautiful as well. Despite the fact that this dish is not on their menu (this happens more than I’d like to admit with my orders at Chinese restaurants, mostly because I tend to want tofu in spicy sauce, and that’s not always an option), they made it for me without hassle. In fact, the only question they had was whether I wanted the tofu sauteed or fried. I try to hit this restaurant every time I’m back home — you should try it to if you have the chance!

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19th Jun2010

danish pancakes

by amjansen

photo by Anne Jansen

These thin pancakes from Paula’s Pancake House in Solvang, California, are served up “Danish style.” The generous dusting of powdered sugar and the fresh fruit on the side make them a yummy way to start the day. Don’t be fooled by the deceivingly small serving (only two pancakes per order) — these flapjacks are about a foot in diameter! You won’t walk away from this meal feeling hungry.

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