THERE IS NO TRUTH TO THE RUMOR... that, after the residents of Solvang go to bed, and the visitors lock their hotel room doors, a magical elf comes along and douses the windmill-whimsical town in a fine dusting of powdered sugar, so fine the naked eye can't discern it. Of course, we can see how some might think that this nightly ritual goes on, given the town's most excellent reputation for most excellent pastries and pancakes and iconic desserts like the æbleskiver, that Solvang-iconic dough-mazing treat. As far as we know no one has seen such a sugar-sprinkling elf, and even if there was one, he'd have to make way for the meatier, spicier, heartier options of the burg's many restaurants. For Solvang, as famous as it is for the confection side of the menu, also perfects plates that can only be deemed more main-course-y: Swedish meatballs, wood-fired pizzas, delectable sandwiches, rich pastas, and such. Such dishes will be on yummy display during the 24th Taste of Solvang, the spring-starter of a long weekend that highlights many of the wine country town's tasties offerings.
YOU CAN DEFINITELY HAVE DESSERT, and eat it, too, for there will be no shortage of sweets. But if you want to catch a wood-fired pizza-making demonstration during the March 16-20 event, best sign up for the Farmers Market Chef Walks. Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante will be at the helm of the gathering, which also includes a glass of local vino. There's also a Bubbles, Brews & Brunch to-do, which will feature protein-good egg dishes, a biscuit bar, those oh-so-authentic Danish sausages, and a Bloody Mary bar. As for Smørrebrød, the open-face Danish sandwich? That will have its time during the foodie festival, too. In short, it isn't all sweets all the time 'round Solvang, though it is sweets much of the time. There is ample opportunity, however, to dig deep into cheesy sauces and tangy toppings and the other components of heartier dining, the sort of eating that comes prior to dessert. Taste of Solvang covers the biteable bases, with only the finest sprinkling of powdered sugar to keep its rep as a dessert capital intact.