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Barona introduces 2 new restaurants

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January 29, 2010


El Rancho Grande and Barona Steakhouse Now Open

SAN DIEGO, CA - Barona Resort & Casino is now dishing up authentic Mexican fare such as tamales, ceviche and carnitas at the new El Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant, formerly occupied by its signature steakhouse. Just a stone's throw from its old spot, the Barona Steakhouse has moved into larger and more deluxe quarters next to the recently unveiled Italian Cucina and Seafood Plaza restaurants.

"Within the past few months we've opened three new restaurants to give our guests more exciting dining options," said Rick Salinas, general manager of Barona Resort & Casino. "Our culinary team has created distinctly different menus while maintaining Barona's commitment to fresh ingredients and locally grown produce."

The interior of the El Rancho Grande restaurant was designed by Denean Scott of Design Solutions-id3, Inc. and features beautiful wrought iron chandeliers, murals depicting a traditional Mexican village, as well as hand-painted ceramic plates and pottery. The dining room can accommodate up to 70 guests and is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

The vast menu includes "Desayunos" or breakfast choices such as Huevos a La Mexicana, Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles ranging in price from $7.50 to $9.95. In addition, the menu features "Entradas" or appetizers including the Barona Empanada, Chile con Queso and Stuffed Jalapenos in addition to "Sopas y Ensaladas" or soups and salads such as the traditional soup Albondigas and Yucatan Grilled Shrimp Chopped Salad and Marinated Carne Asada Salad -- all for less than $12.

Specialty dishes or "Especialidades Mexicanas" including the Chile Relleno, Mexican Style Short Ribs of Beef, Pork Mole, Grilled Jumbo Prawns are all available from $7.95 to $15.95. In addition, classic combination plates of Tamales, Enchiladas, Tacos are offered from $7.95. Delicious treats such as Churros, Caramel Flan, Pastel de Tres Leches and Fried Ice Cream are $5.95.

To complement the spicy Mexican cuisine, El Rancho Grande serves festive specialty margaritas, as well as an extensive "cervezas" or beer list. "And for those who like to sip tequila straight up, the restaurant offers more than a dozen tequilas," said Salinas.

The steakhouse's new 2,700-square-foot location, open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner beginning at 5 p.m., boasts an upscale 105-seat main dining area as well as an elegant private dining room that can accommodate more intimate gatherings of up to 16.

Besides nearly doubling in size, the new version of the Barona Oaks Steakhouse features a massive wood-burning grill, which according to Chef de Cuisine Duncan Firth "greatly enhances meats' natural flavors."

And while the upscale steakhouse has expanded and changed locations, its expansive menu of premium steaks, choice chops and fresh seafood has remained the same. Keeping old favorites was a priority, and guests can still enjoy such signature dishes as the Hickory Smoked Beef Ribeye, Dry Aged Porterhouse, California Lamb Rack, Veal Oscar, Alaskan Halibut with Tempura Asparagus and Honey Glazed Mary's Free Range Chicken.

"Our commitment to hand-cut steaks, top-quality meats and fresh seafood has not wavered," said Chef Duncan, who selects seasonal vegetables from Barona's onsite Organic Chefs' Garden.

Chef Duncan also noted that the steakhouse also dry ages many of its meats in-house to produce "more moist and tender steaks."

The steakhouse has added several excellent San Diego County wines to the extensive wine list, which earned the prestigious 2005-2009 "Award of Distinction" from Wine Enthusiast.

Tucker Sadler Architects, Inc. of San Diego, in partnership with Denean Scott, created the new look for the eight year-old steakhouse into a more modern and sophisticated eatery for its brand new location.

Eye-catching circular booths, ornate ceiling fixtures, an elegant grand piano -- whose keys come alive five days a week -- and commissioned artwork of Barona Creek Golf Club by Marshall Hall in the private dining room, further add to the chic allure of the refined establishment.

Using rich wood, soft velvet drapery, lush upholstery and rock walls with a double-sided fireplace, "We've created a warm and welcoming ambiance that invites guests to relax and linger," says Tucker Sadler Design Principal Gregory Mueller.

Recently, Barona Resort & Casino was honored with a 2009 Gold Medallion Award for Best Casino Dining by the California Restaurant Association (CRA), San Diego Chapter. Additional accolades include the CRA Gold Medallion Awards for "Best Casino Restaurant" and "Best Casino Buffet"; "Best Restaurants", "Best Buffet" and "Best Brunch" from Southern California Gaming Guide; "Best Traditional Cuisine" from Santé magazine; and "Best Gourmet Restaurant", "Best Buffet" and "Best Steakhouse" by Strictly Slots magazine.

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