Any visit to Solvang will inevitably involve pancakes. While Buellton, just 3 miles down the road, is famous for Split Pea Soup, Solvang is famous for being Danish. And for pancakes. I decided to hit the jackpot by gobbling up Solvang’s pancake trifecta: Danish Pancakes, Belgian Crepes & Æbleskivers.
Here’s how it went down.
Eggs Benedict Crepes at The Belgian Cafe. I had to have the Eggs Benedict Crepes because I have never seen them on a menu before. Anywhere. I wonder who thought it up?
Delicate, perfectly cooked crepes, stuffed with scrambled eggs & ham, smothered in silky-smooth Hollandaise & served up with crunchy veggies & some fresh fruit. Incredibly filling, totally tasty. Plus great service. The restaurant was all lacy cafe curtains & cute European trinkets.
The servers dressed in traditional costume. If you like crepes & you find yourself around Solvang, you’ll enjoy The Belgian Cafe’s rendition.
I headed to The Solvang Restaurant to get my Æbleskiver fix. Like a cross between a pancake and a popover, they’re light, fluffy pancakes the size of golf balls. Here they’re delivered with a big old scoop of raspberry jam & a hefty dredging of powdered sugar. The jam & sugar were so sweet they should have sent me into an immediate sugar coma. Luckily they didn’t, but it felt like a narrow escape. Probably because I immediately ordered 2 Danish sausages to lessen the hit to my blood sugar.
It wasn’t the warmest welcome, but my server made up for it once he took over the proceedings from the greeter. The restaurant was totally kitted out in kitsch Danish style, but being in Solvang, not only can they get away with it, but we tourists expect it. It’s all part of the charm.
Paula’s Pancake House is where to head if you want an enormous plateful of traditional Danish pancakes. These babies are HUGE. Half-way between an American pancake & a crepe in thickness, these were light, fluffy & perfectly cooked. Given the choice of warm apple cinnamon, blueberries or fresh strawberries, Dawn persuaded me that the apple version was the way to go. Dished up with fresh whipped cream (yay!) & maple syrup (which I ignored).
I was staggered by how fast they got this plate of pancake goodness in front of me. I polished off a Danish sausage on the side. I am not really a pancake fan, but the whole meal was delicious. Worth getting up at 5:30 am for. The restaurant was unsurprisingly filled with cheap Danish tourist paraphernalia. But who cares if it inspires them to make Danish pancakes this good?
Nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is bursting with character & charm. Add to that the year-round perfect weather & it’s a dreamy place to hang out for an few days, whatever shape or size pancakes you prefer.