Dutch Garden Restaurant
I’m not Irish. I don’t expect anyone to wear red for Chinese New Year if they’re not Chinese. So what’s up with a threat of getting pinched for not wearing green.
I knew it would be best to avoid State Street and its CBD bars, but some friends did want to have a swift half somewhere. A pity Telegraph’s tasting room is more a weekend thing, but we made it work at Dutch Garden.
It was a great surprise to learn some of my bar enthusiast friends had never been there before. Friends that love an old school atmosphere at that. Dutch Garden has that in spades, being 50+ years old and those teensy little bar chairs and the corrugated metal roof that makes you feel like you’re kicking back in a garage.
Its patrons are fiercely devoted. No matter that they love German food, they love *Dutch Garden’s* German food and will hardly think to patronize this town’s only other German restaurant just a little ways down the road. It’s amusing, and a testament to how endearing Dutch Garden can be, but also a little disappointing. There is so little German food in Santa Barbara, why not spread the love around and keep more German restaurants in business. But I digress.
We went for a beer, to pay a very casual homage to St. Patrick, but more to enjoy a good beer. I had Belgian Piraat, a triple fermented ale. Potent, and flavorful.
I was with two vegetarians. Pescidarians, actually. You’d think this German restaurant would be the last place to provide vegetarian fare, but DG actually got back on my radar because another veggie friend considered it one of his favorite restaurants. There is always a fish dish available, but more simply, a basket of rye, a salad and a bowl of soup is a satisfactory meal and meat-free.
Tonight’s soup was carrot and almond. Oh dayum, it was really good. A fellow sitting next to me at the bar, a fiercely devoted type, said he loved German food and this was his favorite restaurant in town. Stated with friendly but strong conviction. He enjoyed the soup, and his serving was actually what put the rest of us over the edge and we ordered it.