Dine and Dish: A taste of Basque food at Wool Growers in Los Banos

LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) -- People pack into Wool Growers for great Basque food in Los Banos.

'I'm from the Basque country, so the food is similar to the Basque country and I like it," says Amador Zabalbeascoa.

Diners enjoy the party-like atmosphere.

"They feel like they're coming to a friend's house," says Owner Ruth Reynoso. "That's what makes this place different."

Ruth's daughter, Talisa manages the restaurant.

"This is more French-style Basque, but the Spanish side of the Basque country, their food is so rich and I can taste it here," she said.

That taste even brought some guys in from Hollister.

"It is an extra special place," says Chuck Risner. "My favorite is Thursday because of the lamb shanks. Best I've had anywhere."

The vegetable soup recipe has never changed.

You won't forget these pigs feet.

Fresh lamb chops are butchered every day.

Reynoso says traditionally, large servings were needed for folks who had been working all day on the ranch he said.

"People like us, it's like that's too much, right," he said. "But for them, it's give me more."

Wool Growers was built in the 1890's.

"There would be a lot of travelers and use this kind of as a boarding house," Talisa said.

Old hotel rooms have been elegantly remodeled and serve as spaces to hold gatherings.

We found a picture of a young cowbo at the bar.

"That was taken in the Azores when I was 12 years old," says Danny Fialho.

Danny's sister-in-law used to own Wool Growers.

Ruth bought it seven years ago and knows the importance of keeping with tradition.

"It's like a responsibility to the community because this is like their place," he said.
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