Why is it that everything tastes better when it is prepared outside, under blue skies or star-studded evenings? Maybe that statement doesn’t hold true for you gourmet cooks out there, but for me, I feel like I am truly on vacation when someone else cooks and serves my meals to me. This was the case on a recent trip to Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in Solvang, California.
Nothing says vacation like Eggs Benedict, served with fresh squeezed orange juice and hot chocolate. The eggs were poached just right so that brightly colored yolks spilled out across the plate, blending in nicely with the creamy hollandaise sauce. Thick slices of warm Canadian bacon rested on top of English muffins. I didn’t even touch the golden hash brown potatoes, as the Eggs Benedict and fruit plate, composed of mixed berries and melons, was plenty to tide me over until the afternoon.
After a day of horseback riding on the Alisal Ranch trails, I was looking forward to dinner in the Ranch Room. The Alisal is long on traditions and dressing for dinner is one of the traditions that has been continued throughout the years. Dress is business casual with jackets required for the men (that includes teenagers) and no jeans are to be worn in the dining room.
While your reserved dining table remains the same during your stay, Executive Chef Pascal Gode’ creates ranch cuisine with a menu that changes daily. After being surrounded by one and two year old calves out on the trail, I surprisingly didn’t have any trouble ordering beef for dinner. Along with vegetarian and fish selections, beef was on the menu nightly during my visit. From Harris Ranch bacon wrapped filet mignon at the Ranch Grill to prime rib in the Ranch Room, I found myself dining like a cowboy during most of my stay.
Friday evening was no exception. I chose the grilled Santa Maria Angus Tri Tip with pinquito beans and garlic bread on the side. The meat was cooked to order with nice flavor – the central valley knows how to prepare good barbeque. I was disappointed with the garlic bread, as all of the nightly bread in the basket had been top notch up to this point. However, the service during all of my dining experiences was pleasant, professional and unobtrusive.
Sweet endings at Alisal Guest Ranch
You’ve heard this before from me, but do save room for dessert at The Alisal. Pastry Chef Yepez creates nightly goodies from chocolate brownie sundae, to strawberry shortcake, blackberry crisp with cinnamon ice cream and the famous Alisal oatmeal pie, served with vanilla bean ice cream. My personal favorite was the peanut butter pie. If I could have taken a pie home with me, I would have. Creamy peanut butter deliciousness, that’s the peanut butter pie.
If You Go:
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort (805) 688-6411 or (800 ) 4-ALISAL
1054 Alisal Road
Solvang, CA 93463
Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California.
I was a guest of Alisal Guest Ranch.