Considering that Adam took over 130 pictures of London restaurants we ate at, it was only natural that we start chronicling our thoughts and opinions about the food we eat. We've totally become accidental foodies. It all started out when Sheila started calling Adam "the human trash compactor"; since he eats almost anything. But somewhere along the way we started having discussions about food and seeking out culinary adventures when on travel. We bring a unique perspective to this arena as we're both vegetarians (no meat, poultry, or fish). I suspect we will both have varying opinions on the food, and hope to not only have a record for posterity, but provide some fun, useful if not amateur insight.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pass on Succulent Cafe in Solvang

A quick day trip from Santa Barbara is the town of Solvang, a Danish community first settled in 1911. It's turned into quite the tourist spot with a ton of local inns, Danish-inspired restaurants, and antique/souvenir shops all done in 19th century Scandinavian architecture. We decide on a quaint cafe called Succulent where the kitchen serves up artisanal salads and sandwiches using locally sourced ingredients from the Central Valley. It's an order at the counter establishment with a few indoors seat and a nice outdoor courtyard with several tables. A great spot to people watch along the main Solvang drag, but for us the food at Succulent lacked balance.

Sheila decided on a Thai salad with mixed greens, cashews, pickled cabbage, fried wonton strips in a citrus vinaigrette served with crostinis. Sheila thought it was good salad, it just wasn't a Thai salad. She was expecting Asian flavors, but didn't get any. Perhaps some sesame or soy dressing would have done the trick. However, the greens were all fresh and the fried wonton strips added a nice crunch. I had a few bites it lacked a depth of flavors, a bit one note, Nothing wrong with it, but yet nothing to write home about.

I ordered the arugula, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich with pesto aioli. Served on olive bread, this dish had a bit too much saltiness for my taste. I think it came down to uneven balance with pesto, olive bread, and mozzarella all being savory items. I would gone for a sweet jalapeño or peach spread to cut through the saltiness. Even a normal sourdough or French baguette would have helped.

I also ordered a prickly pear lemonade from the daily special menu. This was very sour drink on first sip that quick turned to overly sweet. I almost felt that too much sugar was added to batch to cut down the tartness. There a great intentions at Succulent Cafe, just not well executed. Perhaps eating a more Danish-inspired joint would have been better, but we wanted fresh and light. Unfortunately Succulent didn't cut it with a 3 out of 10 rating.

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