December 5, 2018

Sights to See: Christmas Julefest in Solvang


I first heard of the replica Danish town of Solvang, which is located in California on Highway 101 in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in reference to it being a great place to go for Christmas shopping.  And though I have visited it many times through the years to enjoy its charming authentic Danish architecture complete with thatched roofs and windmills, it is just within the last few years that I made it there for its annual December Julefest.

Julefest Christmas tree in courtyard in Solvang, California
Julefest Christmas tree in courtyard in Solvang, California

The town’s hundreds of specialty shops offer unusual gift items year-round, but they add more goodies plus seasonal decorations and a festive air around Christmas.  An annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony is held in Solvang Park with live entertainment, caroling, and the arrival of Santa Claus, and a Julefest Parade features hundreds of participants marching, trotting, cruising, and strolling along festively decorated streets.  Additionally, the family-friendly Solvang Nativity Pageant is an elaborate stage presentation that includes narration, music, and live animals.  Visitors during this time also can win a prize while exploring the town in search of the hidden Jule Nisse (mischievous elf-like Danish figures).  When I visited, I witnessed Santa leave a bar, mount a motorcycle, and chug down the street singing “Jingle Bells,” although the singing might be a false memory.”

Christmas decor in Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, California
Christmas decor in Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, California


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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

November 29, 2018

Good Eats: Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, San Antonio, Texas


Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery  136 E Grayson St., in The Pearl, (210) 455-5701.  This dramatic restaurant and brewery operates inside the landmark 1894 building that was originally Pearl’s Brewhouse.  Chicago architect August Maritzen designed more than 80 breweries--this one in the Second Empire style--think high ceilings and plenty of brick.  Beer flights and small bites dominate a seasonal menu featuring delicious southern fare that includes deviled-ham eggs and jalapeno-cheddar grits.  Brunch is a popular time to relax with a spicy Michelada beer cocktail, a fresh orange juice mimosa, or a house-made brew.  A popular food choice then is shrimp boil, consisting of Galveston bay shrimp and corn rounds.  An eggs Benedict variation features braised country ham atop jalapeno corn bread with a Cajun cream Hollandaise.  Kids are catered to with a special menu that includes a white-cheddar grilled cheese, fish sticks, and more.  It is presented on a cooking tray with a soft ball of dough for them to twist into a pretzel.  They love it, and it keeps them quite busy while they wait for food to appear.  When they are finished twisting, their creation can be sweetened with a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar and baked into real pretzel.  My delighted granddaughter ate most of hers for dessert and took the rest home.

drawing of the original Pearl's Brewhouse, now Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, in San Antoniio, Texas
drawing of the original Pearl's Brewhouse, now Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery, in San Antoniio, Texas


bar at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
bar at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


Michelada beer cocktail at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
Michelada beer cocktail at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


shrimp boil at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
shrimp boil at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


jalapeno-cornbread Benedict at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
jalapeno-cornbread Benedict at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


red snapper with salsa verde at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
red snapper with salsa verde at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


kid's menu and pretzel dough at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
kid's menu and pretzel dough at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas




little girl plays with pretzel dough at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
little girl plays with pretzel dough at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


little girl eats baked pretzel she made at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas
little girl eats baked pretzel she made at Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery in San Antoniio, Texas


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images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers