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Exotic cuisine, such as "caveman" grilled turkey legs, fried Twinkies, bacon-wrapped chicken thighs are major draws at the California State Fair, and are the subject of media attention, as, exotic cuisine is sensational, and draws "numbers" for the local media audience.  But, did you know that delicious, restaurant-quality and actually healthful cuisine thrives at Cal Expo?  If that's your interest, look no further than Pignotti's, located at the Save Mart wine garden, just east of the California Building.

Photo:  Pignotti's is located in the Save Mart wine garden, and offers lots of delicious, healthful, mainstream-restaurant cuisine to enjoy while you sip your sine.  There's plenty of shady, comfortable seating in the area.  It's a delightful place to enjoy lunch, or that matter, all afternoon, as you attend the California State Fair.  The wine garden is centrally located, as it's just east of the California Building, near the center of the fair.

Photo:  The menu is very simple, and it compliments the wine served at the wine garden.  As you can see, the menu is very "Italian," and very healthy.  Pignotti's menu dispels your idea of "fair food," as it's delicious, healthy, and equal or better than any of the food you'd find in a mainstream restaurant.

Photo:  The protocol is that you choose from the menu, place your order, pay for it, and in a couple of minutes, your order will be ready to enjoy.

Photo:  The owner of the restaurant, Ken McKnight, recently added meatball sliders to the menu, which include artisan bread.  The sign invites you to give them a try; I did, and more on that later...

Photo:  The staff at Pignotti's are busy preparing meals, and taking orders from customers on this early Friday evening, July 25, 2014. I'm actually inside the kitchen, enjoying chatting with the staff - and getting material for this post, lol - courtesy of my friend Ken McKnight, who owns this restaurant, and nearby Reno's Fish and Chips, where I published an article last year, about my visit.

Photo:  My dinner started out with a Tortellini Al Marinara plate, which was awesome!  The pasta was cooked perfectly, the sauce was rich and tangy, and the bread was fresh and delicious, and truly complemented my meal. Such a great first course, but since I have quite an appetite, I decided to "go for it," and enjoy a second course.

Photo:  I just "had" to have more, so I enjoyed the Fresh Fruit Plate, and an order of Sliders, which include two sliders.  The fruit plate provided what was in season, on this July evening the plate included two varieties of seedless grapes, red and green, along with diced watermelon and canteloupe.  The fruit was crisp, fresh, and the presentation was excellent.  As for the sliders, each slider includes a artisan roll, and a meatball.  The order includes a slider covered in pesto sauce, and another in marinara sauce, and you'd better ask for a napkin or four, as these sliders are DELICIOUS, and JUICY!  What a great meal!  Despite the reputation of "fair food," in my "foodie" opinion, Pignotti's serves food that would rival any restaurant, anywhere...

Such a compliment to a fine glass of wine is the delicious and healthy cuisine offered at Pignotti's!  For the last 20+ years, they've been at the same place, in the Save Mart wine garden, and offer delicious, healthy food, at reasonable prices, to accompany your glass or two of wine.  The food is fresh, delicious, and lovingly prepared by friendly people.  The staff are gracious, they enjoy what they do, and they provide for an outstanding dining experience. For a delicious and healthy alternative to "fair food," plan to visit Pignotti's!

c/o Reno's Fish and Chips
1733 Kent Place
Vista, CA 92084
760 941-4866
[email protected]

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