- The Solvang Restaurant, 1672 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang, CA www.solvangrestaurant.com
We arrive in Solvang in the middle of the night. With the information we have, the only things we know is that it’s a Danish colony founded in 1911 and that we have to try a Danish breakfast.
Seven hours later we leave our room for a run, looking forward to seeing a place where they make Aebelskivers.
We’ve been told it’s a must if you’re here. A traditional dish in between a pancake and a doughnut, shaped as a ball and served with raspberry jam.
The research is anything but boring. The village, with its Scandinavian style facades and buildings, brings us back to the early 1900 Denmark.
Our first stop is Paula’s Pancake House. “A coffee shop specialized in pancakes will obviously have what we’re looking for”, we suppose. The line waiting outdoor reinforces our belief. We join the queue.
Twenty minutes later, when we finally achieve a table, we realize they don’t serve Aebelskivers. Sad.
To make the time spent in line less wasted, we order their Egg Breakfast. It’s banal. We could have had it at home.
We get out and keep on searching, walking along windmills and Scandinavian flair cottages. Mortensen’s Danish Bakery happens to be on our way. The pastry display is massive. The variety of sweets endless. They seem to have every possible kind of treats… except the Aebelskivers! Depressing.
After that salty meal, we need to sweeten our mouths. The Cream Cheese Danishes just taken out of the oven are really inviting. “One of those, please”. Not as exciting as our unpronounceable crispy balls, but at least it will be an authentic Danish. If not here, where?
For the second time, we are wrong. The filling is cloyingly fat, the flaky dough too buttery, the white frosting on the top pointlessly sugary. After a couple bites we abandon it.
Walking out of the bakery we decide to give up. Alec stops in a book shop, I head for home. On both sides of the street multicolored signs advertise souvenirs and typical products. I look at them inattentively. My eyes are captured by a young couple on a marble bench, drooped over a paper bag. I peek in. The Aebelskivers!! “Where did you get them?” “Right over there”. They point out a big iron sign: “The Solvang Restaurant. Home of the Arne’s famous Aebelskivers“.
From the glass I stare at the cook dusting warm pancake balls with powdered sugar. When two customers get out of the cafe, from the open door, a delightful smell inebriates me.
The pastries, light and fluffy, melt in my mouth. The raspberry jam softens their sweetness with its sharpness.
I eat two of them and save the last one for later. I need a witness for my mate.
It would have been better if… they had been easier to find.
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Still hungry for Aebelskivers? Check the recipe at BeBetsy