We got into Solvang as the sidewalks were rolling up last Sunday and asked at Mortensen's Bakery where we could get a nice sandwich and/or cup of soup. (We don't do "fine dining", we just need a decent meal now and then. The clerk at Mortensen's suggested Fresco Cafe, just down the street. We found that they, thankfully, were open until 9:00pm and had a nice, crackling fire going in the main room. (It was pouring rain outside, and quite chilly.)
You order at the door when you first go in, and they bring you your meal in the main room. We asked about the size of their sandwiches and decided to split one. They come with soup or salad, and we ordered the veggie/lentil soup, (On subsequent visits it seemed like all the soups had a significant amount of beans in them - including the chili. Tasty, but if you can't eat beans, there's kind of a problem. There are usually two soups available.) They have alcoholic drinks, sodas, ice tea, and lemonade (the last two are self-serve). We seated ourselves in the main room by the fire and started to dry off. An attendant brought us fresh bread with herbed butter as a starter, and the food arrived quickly. We had assumed we'd be passing the bowl of soup between us, but the staff gave us two cups of soup. The sandwich was also split neatly and served on separate plates (no extra plate charge). We had the french dip sandwich and it was truly one of the best I've had in years. Plenty of beef, a nice cheese, grilled onions, and the dipping jus was properly made (not just a bullion cube in a bit of hot water). Staff checked back with us a bit later to see if all was well or if they could be of service and then did not hover as we ate our meal. It was quite a nice meal.
On another night we had a cold sandwich made to our specifications and hot soup that as a takeout (back to our motel), and it was also to the same standard. Nice ham, a lovely fresh roll. They had some great looking desserts in the counter, but we'd already loaded up at Mortensen's and didn't need more.
Our total cost, for one really large sandwich (suitable for two), the soup, and two lemonades was less than twenty dollars per visit, even when a small tip was left for the staffer. You could spend more on their other offerings, but we are minimalists and just go to get something to eat. They are in Atterdag Square, just down from Mortensen's off the main drag, and I'd highly recommend them for a nice, informal meal - especially if you arrive in Solvang after 6pm. Very nice staff there - very helpful and pleasant.
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