A TASTE OF SAN BENITO COUNTY, CA
A Central California Food & Wine Adventure Awaits
Less than 2 hours from San Francisco, San Benito County is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park, and a popular getaway for nature lovers, outdoor adventurers and history buffs. However, with its scenic wine tasting trail, fresh farm-to-table fare and multitude of dining options, San Benito County is steadily growing into a destination for food and wine enthusiasts. A temperate climate complete with a true central California setting of rolling hills, vast ranch country, farmlands and vineyards, it’s a beautiful area to explore, and have a picnic with local foods and wines. And, there are plenty of food and wine festivals to attend throughout the year.
Sit back and relax with your favorite libation, and get a virtual taste of San Benito County’s delicious bounty, by watching our new Big Blend Video and listening to the three Big Blend Radio interviews. Learn more at www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.
FARM-TO-TABLE GOODNESS: Swank Farms & Fisher’s Restaurant
Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation about the area’s locally grown produce, wines and farm-table dining experience, with Chef Mike Fisher – Fisher’s Restaurant, Dick & Bonnie Swank – Swank Farms, and Juli Vieira – President & CEO of San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.
Chef Mike Fisher’s motto defines the style…”keep it fresh, and keep it local”. Located in historic downtown Hollister, Fisher’s offers new American style cuisine with a menu that changes according to the season, and what the local farmers and vendors provide the restaurant. Delectable and authentic farm-to-table fare paired with locally produced wines and brews, along with a relaxed ambiance where you can dine indoors or out on the patio, makes Fisher’s a refreshing dining experience. www.FishersHollister.com.
The Swank Farm home ranch has been in the family since 1928. Today, Swank Farms grows a variety of fruits, vegetables and ornamentals on over 100 acres in Hollister, with almost half of the acreage certified organic. You can find their fresh produce at most local farmers markets, grocery stores, and restaurants such as Fisher’s. They are also known for Bonnie’s homemade fudge and homemade heirloom salsa. This fall, they enter their 18th season of welcoming folks to their corn maze and pumpkin patch, offering a fun glimpse into the world of farming. www.SwankFarms.com
SHOP LOCAL GOURMET GIFTS: San Benito Bene
Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with Kathina Szeto, owner of San Benito Bene, who discusses the region’s agriculture and diverse variety of locally produced gourmet gifts.
Along with award-winning wines, fresh organic produce and grass-fed beef, San Benito County is home to quite a number of world-class culinary gems including olive oils, sweet Blenheim Apricot syrups and preserves, savory spices, mustards and rubs, and decadent chocolate. Collaborating with the area’s talented and innovative artisans, San Benito Bene is a gourmet and gift shop located in historic downtown Hollister known for their selection of locally produced gifts. Visit the store to sample award winning local goodies and create tasty pairings with olive oil and flavored balsamics. They also create custom gourmet gift baskets. www.SanBenitoBene.com.
BELLY UP AT “THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE AMERICAN BIKER”: Johnny’s Bar & Grill
Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Charisse Tyson who talks about the biker history and dining experience at Johnny’s Bar & Grill, a famous and historic biker bar that along with the annual Hollister Rally, put Hollister, California on the map as “The Birthplace of the American Biker”.
Originally called The New Deal, Johnny Matalich changed the name to Johnny’s Bar & Grill when he purchased the joint in 1946. In 1947, Wino Willie and his Boozefighters motorcycle group came to Hollister for the 4th of July Gypsy Tour Races. It’s said that things got a little wild and one of the bikers drove his motorcycle through Johnny’s Bar & Grill. This supposed rowdy happening caught the attention of Life Magazine, who apparently gave an exaggerated impression in an article that later inspired the movie ‘The Wild Ones’ with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. Known as ‘The Friendliest Little Bar in Town’, Johnny’s continues to be Hollister’s go-to establishment for juicy hamburgers, cold beer and great camaraderie! www.JohnnysBarandGrill.com