Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Andersen's

Bicycling through downtown Santa Barbara at night, Devin and I started to get hungry after browsing through several shops, visiting the beach, and sharing a conversation with a bum. Whizzing past the shops, I spotted a bakery and knew that if I didn't find dinner there, I could at least pick up a couple of after-dinner treats.

The Andersen's is a small Danish bakery and restaurant with seating both indoors and out. The outdoor seating was romantically lit by candles at each of the cafe tables. Once inside, I was given a sample of their fruit tart, with fresh strawberries, kiwi, and custard in a flaky crust. Unfortunately, I didn't think the fruit tart would survive the journey back to our hotel on our bicycles, so I chose (clockwise from left) a kringle, french waffle, almond macaroon, and chocolate oatmeal cookie. The chocolate oatmeal cookie was huge, about five inches in diameter, so you can imagine how big the kringle was.

I've never had a kringle and chose it because I was drawn to its size. It was crisp and flaky and had a light cinnamon flavor. It often broke when I picked it up, so I was a bit disappointed that so much of the kringle ended up as broken crumbled pieces.

I don't know how the french waffle endured both the handling of the young man who helped me at the bakery and the bicycle trip back to our hotel because as soon as I reached into the bag to draw out the french waffle, my thumb went straight through the pastry! The french waffle was incredibly delicate and filled with a sweet cream. I didn't realize it until halfway through eating it, but there was a thin line of raspberry jam atop the cream which gave it just a hint of raspberry flavor.

Devin's favorite was the almond macaroon because it was chewy. It had a chew reminiscent of taffy and had the aroma of almonds, but the almond flavor was overpowered by the dark chocolate.

The chocolate oatmeal cookie was large and crisp, but standard in flavor.

The next morning when we drove through downtown, I noticed that all the outdoor tables were filled with people having brunch. They have a wide variety of offerings from schnitzel and smorrebrod to curry and goulasch.

The Andersen's
1106 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA

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