Friday, July 29, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 21

Weekly Poll
How do you feel about the Chumash tribe expanding their casino without county oversight?

They shouldn't be allowed to expand their casino without proper permits.
They can do whatever they want on their ancestral land.
I feel sorry for the residents of Santa Ynez.
I can't wait to try the new buffet.

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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

An ode to lasagna


Lasagna is my favorite food in the world.

It's like a pie, but with pasta and cheese and meat and tomato sauce instead of"well"pie stuff. And as far as I'm concerned, a bite of lasagna is the closest thing there is to taste bud heaven. So I take this subject very seriously.

July 29 is National Lasagna Day (apparently). What are you going to do about it?

I spent three days in Florence, Italy, this past winter, and I ate the entire time. (Like, actually"if I was awake, I was eating.) Each day I stuffed myself as much as possible with soups and pastas and gelato and wine and Trippa alla Florentina (I didn't know what it actually was until after I'd already ordered) and"you guessed it"lasagna.

I came out of the experience with a deeper appreciation for all kinds of Italian food, but lasagna still topped my list. So. I'm pretty legit.

That said, I didn't know until recently that July 29 is, in fact, National Lasagna Day. It's an unofficial holiday, sure, but as far as I'm concerned it already tops every other holiday even though I haven't actually celebrated it yet.

I plan to use this year's observance of National Lasagna Day to make up for every time I've missed it"and in case you've been missing my new favorite holiday as well, I'm going to help you make up for it, too, no matter where in North County you spend it.

Lasagna, a classic layered pasta, is probably the best thing that will ever happen to you. Celebrate it.

Santa Maria: If you find yourself in good ol' SM on this year's day of the lasagna, my friends at Yelp and I recommend you head to Cugini's. And bring the whole dang family and all your friends, because this place offers its large pan of lasagna for $80.

Lompoc: Get yourself to La Botte Italian Restaurant, where $19 will score you a generous portion of lasagna. Delizoso!

Solvang: Don't let the super non-Italian name fool you: Actor's Corner Cafe has garnered some awesome reviews for its vegetable lasagna, also making it a prime National Lasagna Day location for you veg-heads.

Santa Ynez: S.Y. Kitchen's got you covered for National Lasagna Day in the Santa Ynez area with its veal lasagna. Plus, you can find yourself a mixology-style cocktail bar there"the perfect addition to any and all holidays.

Perhaps the only form of lasagna I don’t entirely approve of is dessert lasagna—but if you’re lame and not into pasta, it’ll do.

Pretty much anywhere else: If you're on the move during July 29, or you just don't feel like a trattoria-style adventure, then go to Olive Garden. You can't pass up National Lasagna Day, and Olive Garden's got two types of entree lasagna and one dessert lasagna.

So come July 29, dig up those old fat pants and head to your nearest lasagna resource. You won't regret it. (Unless you order the dessert lasagna at Olive Garden ... you might regret that.)

Brenna Swanston and Garfield have a lot of things in common, but their lasagna obsession might be the only non-embarrassing one. Send your favorite lasagna recipes to