Rainbow Oaks serves hearty food in a pine-paneled restaurant that exudes rustic charm

Rainbow Oaks Restaurant at the County Line serves hearty American food. That’s not their slogan, but it’s true! The restaurant, owned by Duke and Jonell Maples, is a busy, bustling place, with diners relaxing at tables or perched on unique cedar bar stools. The television screens over the bar are perennially tuned to sports channels.

“We have a good time here, we have great employees and great customers,” said Duke with a smile.

If you’re a meat lover you must try the after four o’clock menu. It’s a beef lover’s paradise – dinner portions of tri-tip, filet mignon, New York strip steak, rib-eye steak and top sirloin. However, diners can also find tri-tip on the luncheon menu as a sandwich and New York steak for breakfast.

On Wednesday nights prime rib is the star of the show. Tender and flavorful, it’s served as a special, with a choice of potato and side of green beans.

Duke explained that their prime rib comes from the Midwest. It’s a high quality meat, and the price fluctuates. Unfortunately the current price is at a higher point, but Duke’s philosophy is this: “We never shop around for cheaper meat – we don’t ever compromise.”

It’s not just prime rib that is high quality either – other meats, such as steaks and pork chops also fit into that category.

When food is served at Rainbow Oaks you can be assured that they don’t skimp on anything – ask for butter and you get a lot of it – ask for sour cream and it’s the same scenario. Everything is served in hearty portions.

Desserts are All-American – something you might find at a county fair or 4th of July celebration. Pies, cakes…etc. I enjoyed the chocolate cream pie which is made with chocolate pudding and topped with a mound of whipped cream. The serving was large and I didn’t think that I would be able to eat it, but the pie was very light and I surprised myself by finishing it.

Beef and dessert is not all that you will find on the Rainbow Oaks menu. All of the menus – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are extensive.

Their food is served in an atmosphere that can be best described as “American Mountain Cabin.” Duke and Jonell bought the restaurant in 2009 and completely remodeled the interior. It’s a stunning example of what can be done with a bit of American ingenuity.

The restaurant has a cozy mountain cabin feel to the interior because the wood used was salvaged from the 2007 wildfire. The trees would have rotted if they had not been rescued by the Maples who gave them new life in a sunny restaurant. Most of the wood was gathered from Palomar Mountain and is hand-milled. Sugar pine and ponderosa pine serves as wall paneling, oak and cedar is found on the bar – with a heavy slab of cedar on the bar top. The bar stools are hand-hewn, each made from a single trunk of a fire-damaged cedar tree.

The food will most likely command your attention, but if you get a chance, look around at the décor. Diners will find an eclectic assortment of items – photos of fire crews, emblems of Harley Davidson clubs, an iron cross that was cut from a World Trade Center beam, some authentic bull horns and a ten-foot-long sailfish.

Teresa Higgins, a server, caught the sailfish while on a deep sea fishing trip in Mazatlan. All she wanted was to catch a sailfish – it happened – and 35 minutes later she reeled it in. “It took every muscle in my body,” she said. The fish weighed 100 pounds and was 10 feet long. It’s now in a place of honor above the bar.

Duke and Jonell are hands-on owners spending most of their time at the restaurant. “It’s a fun place,” said Duke, “we enjoy being here all day.”

Rainbow Oaks at the County Line is located at 4815 Fifth Street in Rainbow. Contact them by telephone at

(760) 723-2279 or find them online at www.rainbowoaksrestaurant.com. The restaurant is open every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rainbow Oaks Dinner Specials

Sunday – Turkey

Monday – Corned Beef and Cabbage

Tuesday – Fried Chicken

Wednesday – Prime Rib

Thursday – Beef Stroganoff or Goulash over fettuccini

One Response to "Rainbow Oaks serves hearty food in a pine-paneled restaurant that exudes rustic charm"

  1. Great restaurant   August 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

    The best food, we keep going back. Portions big enough to take some home.


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