THE LUSCIOUS LINE-UP: If you were to get into your car, right now, and make a day of eating just fish tacos around North County, or just sourdough and gelato in the San Francisco neighborhoods where bread and cold treats reign, or only pastries and chocolates around Solvang, well, no one would judge. That's because the big cities and tucked-away towns of California are known for their specific foods, and culinary themes, and to indulge for a meal (or two or three), only supping upon a single thing, is not unheard of. The aforementioned Solvang, which should probably have a person inside a squishing aebleskiver suit at the burg's border, waving and greeting people, is known for wine, for sure, and fine meats-and-more dining, yes, but pastries -- and more pastries, and pastries beyond those -- rule visitors' hearts when they're strolling the windmill-y byways of America's most Dutch-cool town. (The person in the aebleskiver suit should probably stand under a sign that says just that: "America's most Dutch-cool town.") But how to get a lot of Solvang in your tum over a few hours? If you're not spending the night but you want a vast variety?
TASTE OF SOLVANG, which spreads out, like jam on a pastry, over a few days, is a fine notion, but hone in on the Grand Tasting for the dozens-plus dining options. It's on Saturday, March 21 in 2015, and "more than 40 taste stops at restaurants and retailers around the village" are on the route. Both "bites and beverages" will be featured, some bites, some bevs, at places like Danish Mill Bakery, Del Sol, and the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art. The ticket? It's $35, so if you taste a little something everywhere, you'll send less than a buck to do so, per bite or beverage. Getting the grub scene wrapped up in one fell swoop -- or one busy walking afternoon -- is something Californians do often, on the road, when they know they're in a town famous for a certain foodstuff. That Taste of Solvang's Grand Tasting makes it all the easier for us means we only park once. And we Californians do love only parking once, don't we though? It's like a shared goal and point of pride.