I finally made it. Polkadoc and I drove down and back to Wool Growers yesterday afternoon for dinner. It was a great ride. About 130 miles south of Sacramento, about 2 1/2 hours if you stop and stretch as we did.
609 6th St.
Los Banos, CA
The place was great. Been there about 100 years according to the historic plaque above the bar door; in the center of the old section of town and right across the street from the railroad tracks.
There is a great rectangular sign above the restaurant door and an even better neon cocktail sign above the bar door. I'm sorry I didn't take a camara so I could attach a photo.
Open Tuesday through Sunday,
Lunch - 11:30 - to 2:00
Dinner - 4:30 - to 9:00, 10:00 Saturday and Sunday.
We got there about quarter after five and I wanted to have a Picon Punch first but the bartender wasn't there and a couple of guy's bitching about the heat and the foul air (both valid complaints) were and it just didn't seem like the right thing to do so I passed.
But, ... the juke box was knock out by my country/folk taste. A 50's Seeburg the two rows on the right side were hand written Basque tunes (Ack, I didn't take the time to listen because I didn't have a Picon Punch) the other six rows were old Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, 50's rock and roll and a couple of wedding tunes. Well, what can I say, it doesn't motivate me but who knows what moves people in Los Banos. There was a young lady there who looked about 8 & 1/2 months along but I don't remember her playing the wedding song.
The restaurant is laid out about 40' by 60' with four rows of tables end to end running parallel with the 60' side. We sat down about 5:30 and there were about 6 to 12 people there. We were sat by a couple of young guys across from each other one chair apart so we could interact with them but we weren't rubbing elbows. Another party of 4 or 5 were sat next to us, again one chair apart; by six o'clock the place was pretty full and the one chair apart rule fell away. It was all very comfortable.
The menu is all family style. Always the same each day of the week so I'm told. 1. Soup, vegetable in a beef stock; 2. Beans, pinto with pork stock, tomatoe/onion/garlic, all the veggies are pureed so there is just a sauce with the beans; 3. Green salad, iceburg lettice, tomatoe and a dressing that I didn't recognize but was very good; 4. Potato salad, very good but simply american style (i.e. with egg); 5. Lamb stew, this was to die for (enough said); 6. Entree, choice of: lamb chops, pork chops, tri-tip, prime rib or chicken, with french fried potatoes. She got the lamb chops (three nice chops, hot on a plate, cooked medium rare and delicious) I got the prime rib (nice thick cut of creamy prime rib nice and pink in the center); 6. Dessert, Vanilla ice cream with canalope.
Exellent meal. My fav's: the lamb stew, lamb chops, prime rib and the green salad.
The beans were ok but sorta not unique. The soup was good but just vegetable soup. The potatoes were the same frozen ore-ida's in a bag that I cook at home when I'm lazy. Good though! I expected spumane ice cream but I prefer vanilla so I was happy.
Great ride down and back, we left at about 3:00 and were back about 9:15.
I missed the standard Basque tomatoe sauce, tongue, tripe, a fish entree (friday night?) and of course the Picon Punch.
My recommendation, go there, have dinner, have a Picon Punch and play the juke box!!!