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Lunch at Wool Grower's in Los Banos

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Lunch at Wool Grower's in Los Banos

Gordon Wing | Jun 10, 2005 02:16 AM

Stopped for lunch at Wool Grower's on the way home from Yosemite Valley. We arrived just after Noon and found just a few tables occupied.
The room was dimly lit (the drapes were all closed) and there were large overhead fans hard at work. It took our eyes a few minutes to adjust after coming in from the very bright light of a sunny day but when they did we could see all the various articles about Basque Culture and Wool Grower's that were up on the wall. Today's offerings were pork chops, lamb chops, lamb shanks and beef tri tip. Our meal started with a bowl of beans and a large bowl of hearty vegetable soup with grated parmesan ( spoon some beans into your bowl and then ladle soup over-top with cheese ). Bread & butter arrived with the soup. Then a crisp, crunchy iceberg lettuce salad dressed with a creamy garlic vinaigrette arrived. Next was a generous portion of lamb stew (with carrots, bell peppers and potatoes)....the potatoes had cooked long enough to break down and thicken the sauce - the lamb and vegetables were tender. A bottle of House Red wine showed up - my SO announced it as "pretty drinkable".
A plate full of french fries also arrived. The entrees followed - we had the lamb shank and the pork chops. The shanks (2) were tender and laced with garlic cloves. The pork chops(2) also had a healthy dose of garlic. These were old school chops - not overly thick and nicely browned -cooked medium but still juicy. Ice cream and cheese close out the meal.
The ice cream is a pre packaged cup of vanilla - not very exciting but you can add lots of Hershey's chocolate syrup to doctor it up. The cheese was pretty dry with a hard texture -not much to recommend it.
All this cost $14 each - that's $12.95 plus tax, I think.
Really enjoyed the down home atmosphere - long communal tables, red checkered oil cloths, lots of local farmers and town folk. The waitresses were friendly and efficient......on a first name basis with most of the customers but we felt quite comforable.

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