Wool Growers Restaurant, Los Banos, Ca
Well, I never thought I would find and enjoy a restaurant in this little town predicated upon commuter traffic from the bay area to the central valley (and beyond). I have a friend who hunts ducks, and told me about a basque french restaurant that serves you an all you can eat meal, with a giant steak (or as many as you can eat) for under 20 dollars. And even more, that it was good food. Especially the Lamb Stew he said.
Well, as you can see from the photos below, it is indeed a feast; it begins with bottles of wine, soup, bread, beans and salad, then you receive your lamb stew, and potato salad…then you main course a choice of meats…I chose a new york strip…Then the ice cream cup with some cheese bits! It was all very good, but the lamb stew wast literally fantastic…I wanted to take a bucket home with me!
The restaurant is a rustic, turn of the century concept, even the lamb stew was reminiscent of classic old school technique, you could even see the caramelization on the lamb pieces where they seared those off first to build the flavor in the stew. It is like stepping back in time to a simpler way of eating in a communal fashion…very old world…anybody going there should expect that the food is served when it comes up, you are not to expect dainty servings, sent over individually when you request them. The restaurant has a fantastic old world charm.
The build-out inside is a massive mess hall within the confines of an old hotel…its a pre fixe menu, and at least during hunting season…it is difficult to find a seat. This is a must experience for anybody passing through this little town.