Solvang lunch rec?
Hi from an OC/LA 'hound popping through... On an upcoming trip up the coast, we'll be passing through Solvang just in time for lunch. I've heard lovely things about the place and want to impress Mr. J so that he'll agree to a longer trip there in the near future. :-) I'm hoping to find a restaurant downtown that feels/looks authentically Danish, isn't too "cutesy," and offers a good selection of filling food.
I also want to grab some pastries and/or cookies for an afternoon snack on the road. I've read good things on this board about Solvang Bakery and Mortenson's. I hardly ever buy sweets (but hey, this is a vacation, right?) so I know very little about Danish treats. Does anybody have specific recommendations about what local specialties or personal favorites to try?
Thanks in advance for your help!
The Greenhosue Cafe is owned by a Danish couple - they have a very nice patio so if the weather is good it's nice to sit outside. They offer American food, but they also have a selection of Danish specialties on the menu, like Danish sausage, Danish meatballs, Danish open faced sandwiches, and of course, aebelskiver.
Right next door is Mortensen's bakery, and it would be well worth your while to pick up some goodies there for the road.
Several bakeries have these, including Olsen's. Danish Waffle Cookies, long pastries filled with respberry jam and whipped cream. Addictive.
stick to the above rec's and avoid ANY sightseeing or he will resist a return trip. Even most restaurants are tooth-achinly "cutesy". There is a good new cheesehop, just to the front of the Greenhouse cafe, be sure to check it out, sorry but no name comes to mind. But great cheese selection.
Authentic danish pastries let you taste the cardamom which is often missing in more mass produced items - hard to get really real Danish tastes in Solvang. My favorite is the almond ring at the smaller bakery around the corner on the arcaded street from the windmill and larger bakery which is in my opinion very mediocre. This is the bakery near to the really great shoe store on the corner.
Plus a real abelschiever has an apple slice (abel-schiever means apple slice) in the middle, and also redolent of cardamom which I never once found in any Solvang restaurant anywhere. Demand they go back to their roots and get back to the basics. Otherwise you get just a novely fried dough ball that tastes more like over-rated cardboard. Sorry.
YES! Danish Waffle Cookies are SO good. Sometimes I'll drive from SF Bay Area to SD and take the longer route (101) vs. 5 just to buy some of these. I've only had the ones from Mortensen's, and I can't imagine them getting better than that!
You may want to check out Petradish's thorough post: