local eats… Succulent Cafe

succulent cafeSucculent Cafe

1555 Mission Drive

Solvang, CA

Okay, okay, this restaurant isn’t in San Luis Obispo County but it’s just a hop skip and a jump away in Northern Santa Barbara County (which we get lumped in with anyway). When you’re visiting the quaint dutch town of Solvang, you’ll want to enjoy lunch at the Succulent Cafe! This was on our “To Try” list and we’re glad we did. Unfortunately, they aren’t equipped for an influx of customers so we waited about an hour for our food. A wait that long would have really made me pissed and I would have cancelled the order and asked for our money back. However, our day in Solvang was planned to be leisurely and I took the wait in stride. Don’t get me wrong, this was quite difficult for me but I was spending much needed quality time with the husband so I survived.

I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken salad and the portion was quite large. This salad could easily have been shared and I did share, a couple bites. Each time I took a bit, a special little goodie surprised me; cranberries, pine nuts, corn fritters, and great fried chicken breast. I crave this salad a lot! The husband ordered the meatloaf on cornbread and it wasn’t as exciting. The girl we ordered with at the register said it was the best meatloaf she ever had and other employees agreed. Well, they haven’t ever had my meatloaf or the meatloaf sandwich at wichcraft! After waiting an hour, the meatloaf was finished but the husband preferred my salad.

We would both suggest eating here for lunch to save on the dinner prices. This place isn’t cheap, by any means, but if you’re not looking for mediocre swedish meatballs or pancakes, this is the place for you!

 

 

Made in SLO… Miss Violetheart

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We had the chance to chat with the beautiful lady behind Miss Violetheart, Shari Staufenberg, about her business and her life in San Luis Obispo. We’re thrilled to feature her as our first local artisan in the Made in SLO feature. All of our readers will enjoy 10% off on her colorful jewelry in her Etsy shop using code SLOLIFE10 through December 31, 2013!

You moved back to Cambria 2 years ago from Santa Barbara with your family, can you introduce them to us?

My family consists of me, my husband Bruce, a musician, and my daughter Arabella, an awesome singer, budding keyboard player, and loves to do arts and crafts with me.

Bruce and Arabella are new to living in SLO, how are they liking life in SLO?

Bruce has taken to living here even better than I imagined (he grew up in Santa Barbara and lived there basically his whole life) and Arabella loves it too. Definitely the right choice for us!

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I absolutely love Cambria! As a native of SLO, how has it grown?

I think for the most part, SLO has stayed the same. Obviously it has grown some, but fortunately people here appreciate the lifestyle and strive to keep the charm and keep it from getting too big. When I first move to Santa Barbara [for college], no one knew where Cambria was. When I was moving back here, EVERYONE knew about Cambria (and was so jealous I was going to live here).

How did you start creating?

I have always dabbled in creative oriented pursuits, especially as I got older. I took many classes through adult ed over the year- watercolor painting, glass fusing, jewelry making. 

Crafting was always something I did on the side, not my “real” job. In 2008, our neighborhood was destroyed by a wildfire. Although our house survived the fire, the physical and emotional challenges of re-building the neighborhood eventually took its toll on us. My family decided that we needed to have a change of scene. So, in 2011, we moved to Cambria. Along with the move, I decided that I wanted to re-invent myself and do something totally different than what I had been doing, something I loved. I had taken a wire-wrapping jewelry class shortly before we moved and I was hooked. I love the whole proves of designing a piece and the actual making of it.

What do you create?

I make bright and colorful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. I utilize many different elements- handmade fused glass beads made by my older sister, Su (who lives in Paso Robles), pearls, vintage beads, Czech fire-polished beads, and natural stone.

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What is the name of your shop and how did you come up with the name?

Miss Violetheart. I wanted to come up with a name that meant something to me- it had to reflect something I loved. I have been a purple fanatic my whole life; at one point in time my whole wardrobe was purple. My logo is a red-winged blackbird (only she’s purple, of course) which is another thing I love. I have fond memories of these birds from my childhood in Cambria.

Can you share what your work space is like?

My dream is to have a lifeguard stand in my backyard to use as a studio. But for now, I use a desk in my room, the kitchen table, or outside on the deck when it’s nice.

Thank you for hanging out, Shari! Before we go, what are you goals for your business?

I would love to be making a decent living selling my jewelry. I am so pleased when someone likes what I have done.

Visit Shari and her Miss Violetheart shop. Help us Support SLO, a movement that is so important to the vitality of our region. Don’t forget to use the discount code SLOLIFE10.

Enjoy a SLO Weekend… Obon Festival

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Come out and spend a great day at this amazing cultural festival! This is fun for the whole family. We’ll be there! This Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 1 pm to 8 pm.

From their posting…

“A great day filled with local vendors selling handmade items, food vendors, performances, traditional festivities, and so much more. This year we’re at a new venue because of the festival’s popularity and growth. This is our annual fundraiser and we are looking forward to welcoming EVERYONE to learn about an important celebration in Japanese culture. *Vendors will have both asian and non-asian goods and food”