Our dear friend, Marnie, invited us to a wine tasting birthday weekend in Solvang, California. Done.
We actually did the same thing with Ms. Marnie two years ago and it was fun (Marnie is always fun. A Marnie party is a guaranteed good time. She is the opposite of me).
We drove up with another dear friend, Rachel, and we stopped at El Torito for lunch. Those are some El Torito chips right there.
Husband and Rachel discussed apps while eating apps. Hee hee.
I normally get the fajita salad, but there was an intriguing picture of this Mexican lasagna looking thing. Enchilada Azteca. Husband and Rachel both wanted me to order it, and I was like, word. It was delish, actually.
Rachel had a combo. I was jealous of her "sweet corn cake". I actually found a mix of El Torito "sweet corn cake" at the grocery store and I'm just waiting for an occasion to bake it up and eat the entire thing. Yummmmmmm carby.
Husband's chicken enchiladas with beans and beans (he's not a rice fan). He shared his sweet corn cake with me. Nice husband.
Ahhh, Solvang. So stinking cute. After we checked in to the swanky Holiday Inn Express (the rest of our friends were staying at the Wine Valley Inn. We slummed it), we walked around the town, which takes about an hour.
Lots of little shops were all ready for Valentine's Day. Made me want chocolate.
And pastry. Lots and lots of pastry.
We also stumbled upon a shop that sold socks. Like, a lot of socks. More than you think would be necessary.
If you know me, you know that I'm a knee sock and leg warmer slut, so I was kind of giddy.
I did not buy anything. Due to my freelance lifestyle, I feel rich or poor depending on the moment. $20 knee socks were not on the agenda last Saturday.
This was the view from the parking garage of the Holiday Inn Express. V nice slum. I think I see a gnome! Or a hobbit! Or both.
Okay. The Hitching Post II. This is where Marnie chose to enjoy her birthday dinner and I love her just a little bit more for it. Holy mother of God, they know how to cook meat.
The chef behind the glass spied me spying him and gave me a show.
Our happy birthday crew. Husband is on the bottom right, and his actual birthday was Saturday.
I started with a cup of split pea soup. It had a touch of cream and a some nice spice.
Husband ordered the quail appetizer out of curiosity. The squash puree was kinda weird but the quail was money (and a lovely preview of what was to come).
Small house salad. The croutons were very herby and I loved the vinaigrette.
I ordered the New Zealand lamb chops with fries (husband's request-I hate fries-hee hee).
Husband ordered the flat iron steak, which I was going to order after hearing rave reviews from one of our fellow diners who had been to The Hitching Post previously.
Husband and I decided one would order lamb, the other steak, and we would share. Now, the lamb was very, very good, BUT, the steak stopped me in my tracks. The first bite, I had to stop everything, close my eyes, and moan inappropriately. I am drooling on myself thinking about it.
After husband and I
licked cleaned our plates, we ordered dessert, because we have a serious problem were still hungry.
We endured many an "oooh/aaah/I can't believe the ordered dessert/what is that?" from the peanut gallery, and it was completely worth it.
I didn't take pictures because I was busy scarfing my final sin: apple crisp a la mode (husband had chocolate peanut butter pie that was equally orgasmic in a wholly different way). That freaking dessert was worth the 3 hour drive from LA alone. Valentine's Day is coming up...
The next morning, I went for a run in order to make room for brunch. Deciding not to quit while I'm ahead, I ordered the French toast with vanilla cream and maple syrup. Gorgeous.
Husband had eggs, potatoes, some really good chicken sausage, and blueberry pancakes. Yah, we're big eaters, and we have friends who know how to pick good restaurants! Lucky, lucky us.