Yep, you read that correctly. I actually had an awesome vegan meal in Solvang, land of meat and pastries.
Two of our closest friends are likely to move out of the state this year, so we have lately been making an effort to appreciate and explore LA and the surrounding areas. They are both transplants from other parts of the state, so Eric and I try to take them to places that they have never been before. Solvang is a little Danish town in the Santa Ynez Valley (that’s in Santa Barbara County) that’s about two hours away from us. The drive is gorgeous, especially if you take Topanga Canyon to Pacific Coast Highway and work your way up PCH. This is where we stopped to take in the view.
Check out that view!
When we arrived in Solvang, we set out to find a place to eat that would make everyone happy. I didn’t plan ahead as I usually do, but figured I could just get a side salad if all else failed. We looked at quite a few menus and settled on the oldest food establishment in Solvang, Bit O’ Denmark.
I ordered the vegetarian salad without any cheese and with their basil vinaigrette dressing. The salad comes with grilled veggies (I believe it was mostly peppers and zuchini) and I asked for roasted tomatoes as well. I love that the salad comes on top of rice! It was not something I had ever thought of before, but it was awesome! The veggies were grilled absolutely perfectly, too.
It was nice to have a real meal that was pleasing rather than just some boring side salad with only tomatoes on it, especially in a city that is in general, not very vegan-friendly! While I would like to see what other restaurants have to offer, I would definitely dine there again if we were in the area.
On our way home, we couldn’t resist stopping at the beach. Of course, this was in February and the waters are always frigid off of California coast (that’s due to upwelling, as I learned in my California Geography for teachers class), so we joyfully shrieked as our toes touched the freezing waves.
This, folks, is why people love California.
I couldn’t resist the Joni Mitchell reference. =)