Monday, October 23, 2006

Lunch at a California Roadside Icon

The day after our tours of one California landmark, we stopped by another one: Pea Soup Andersen's, the "Home of Split Pea Soup." Located in Buellton, CA, Pea Soup Andersen's is one of those old-time roadside attraction restaurants/gift shops/motels that is advertised with billboards all along Highway 101, reminding you how many miles you have left to get there.

We stopped for lunch at the famous Pea Soup Andersen's. (10/23/06)

Established in 1924 by Danish immigrant Anton Andersen, the restaurant was then called Andersen's Electric Cafe, in honor of their prized posession, a new electric stove. Since it was on the road to Hearst Castle during the heyday of Hearst's newspaper empire, many Hearst newspaper writers and reporters would stop by the Cafe.

Andersen's has been a central coast staple since 1924. (10/23/06)

By the late 1930s, the place had become known as Pea Soup Anderson's, and has been going strong ever since. Tim and I have stopped to eat there once or twice before, but it's been a while. So when Jon and Amy suggested it during the drive back from our San Simeon camping trip, we thought it sounded fun.

Jon signs "The Great Register of the Select Customers of Andersen's." (10/23/06)

When you walk in there, it's definitely one of those places that's seen better days. But it definitely has a sense of history about it. And looking at the registry book near the entrance, you can see names from all across the U.S., including many international visitors.

The famous pea soup. (10/23/06)

Naturally, I had to order the split pea soup while I was there (Tim doesn't care for split pea soup), which wasn't bad, although it's not a must-have item. But it's something you have to have at least once in your life.

1 comment:

Grumpy said...

You obviously only went half way with the pea soup, Have to have a glass of ros`e to help it go down smoothly!