A few weeks ago – and after full vaccinations had taken place – my core group of friends and I decided we needed to bust out of town and head away for the weekend. Luckily for us, there is the perfect spot just a few hours north for us food and wine loving crew… Los Olivos!
Los Olivos is in the heart of the Central Coast wine region and it is bordered by the bigger towns of Solvang and Buellton along the 101 freeway. It was easy enough to split Friday after work for a few nights of R’n’R.
After getting an incredible night’s sleep on Friday, we got up early on Saturday morning to head to Bob’s Well Bread and Bakery in Ballard – which I had just read a review about. This itty-bitty bakery/restaurant was choke full of the most amazing and delectable offerings from croissants (I got a pistachio one!) to rolls, breakfast sandwiches, and lardons… tons of bacon lardons! I was so impressed with the atmosphere and even more impressed with the food – you’ve got to give it a try!
The rest of the morning was spent strolling through Solvang and then (when it reached a socially acceptable hour!) Hitting up a few local tasting rooms.
We wanted to get away from the crowds in Solvang, so we escaped across the freeway to Buellton and found McClain Cellars. This adorable outdoor tasting venue had a super laid back vibe, tons of amazing artwork, popcorn pairings, and some pretty spectacular wines. Our favorite was the Summer Breeze which was a white blend that is the perfect day-drinking wine.
Los Olivos was calling and once everyone arrived (some couldn’t make it up until later that day!) we all headed into the cutest small town in America! We visited some local wineries and bought some bottles for later – and then landed at The Wine Merchant Café for dinner. Some people might know this place from the movies, Sideways, but most people know it because it is one of the only restaurants in this town. The food was incredible and the wine wasn’t too shabby, either! Everyone’s food was so good but it was the French fries with homemade ketchup that really did it for me. Seriously, I have never had fries this good!!!
Sunday brought a fantastic good-‘ole-American style breakfast at Ellen’s Pancake House to fuel us for another day of wine tasting and shopping.
My friend, Jill, led the charge and picked two fantastic wineries (that she is a member of!) for us to taste at – Stolpman and Refugio Ranch. The patios at both places were idyllic and the wine…wow! It was just so nice to spend the day sitting with friends, talking, and pretending that this was a “normal” year and not the craziest year of our lives.
I cannot begin to express how much this weekend was needed and how it recharged us all! I’m already planning my return to my favorite little small town and planning all the good food, good wine, and good company!!!
Love you, ladies! ❤️