Fresh ingredients, prime cuts of meat, local wine and a comfortable atmosphere are some of the elements that set the Sizzler restaurant located at 40489 Murrieta Hot Springs Road apart.
For more than two decades the local franchise location has established itself as a community staple and has been leading the pack by implementing new dishes and new ideas when other restaurants within the chain are just now starting to update themselves.
The restaurant is one of a number of flagship locations that have been remodeled with a design that allows for restaurant employees to better interact with their customers and for the customers themselves to feel at home.
The stonework façade of the building and the pictures of an American flag and a saddle radiate a certain kind of American wholesomeness that invites the passerby to come and experience traditional American fare like a nice, grilled steak with caramelized onions or a juicy hamburger.
Inside, a free-flowing atmosphere allows for restaurant employees to introduce themselves with a handshake before taking a customer’s order right off the bat.
It’s the kind of redesign that makes Sally Myers, vice president of BMW management, proud. Myers has had a long history with Sizzler restaurant.
Her father opened his own franchise location when she was in high school and employed her and her then high school sweetheart Gary before coming up with a new restaurant concept that would become Richie’s Real American Diner. By that time he had opened five franchise locations.
From the time her father began working on his new restaurant, Myers would take over his role of franchising Sizzler and open up 31 of the restaurant chain’s 36 locations under BMW management.
One of those locations would be the one in Murrieta, which received its signature redesign in 2010 when it was completely redone from top to bottom.
The restaurant’s fresh interior is matched by its fresh food. A quick trip to the kitchen reveals that almost everything is made from scratch. Vegetables are neatly wrapped in equal quantities and rolls have been prepared for the day to bake.
This is a daily occurrence since the menu was redesigned to be filled with dishes that are made on location rather than shipped in already somewhat prepared, according to Myers.
“Over the last couple years, just about 90 to 100 percent of our menu items have gone to made from scratch,” she said. “Even our burgers are handcrafted and our steaks are fresh.”
Fresh indeed. A quick glance over to a display case next to the elliptical order stations shows the various cuts of steak – cut that day – which diners can choose from.
Not far from this display case is another interesting component of the restaurant’s service: local wines. Wines from Temecula’s Leonesse Cellars provide the restaurant with a tie to the local community. Myers said that as more wineries come to call the Temecula Valley home, she is hoping to expand the wine menu at the casual dining establishment.
If it’s not already clear that this local franchise is not a standard Sizzler by any stretch of the imagination, it’s starting to sink in as Catie Pham, an employee of BMW’s marketing division, discusses one key difference between this franchise and the many others across Southern California.
“With BMW we are actually considered a test unit for corporate Sizzler,” Pham said. “Specifically our Murrieta location and our location in Lake Forrest, so what that means basically is that before any of these menu items come out to the stores, we get to test them.”
One of the new promotional items that hit this location before it hit others was the chain’s new riblets: easy-to-eat ribs with a smoky apricot barbeque glaze.
This month the franchise has been testing out new steak and shrimp combos, which consist of a steak paired with shrimp and a dipping sauce.
Peach appears to be one of the restaurant’s seasonal flavors, with a number of peach infused and peach-inspired menu items such as the Peach Cheesecake – a confluence of tart, sweet and creamy characteristics that’s delicious with every bite – as well as a peach lemonade.
But then there’s the grilled steak, such as the Tri-Tip, which is sure to tempt any carnivore with its grill marks and smattering of grilled onions or mushrooms.
One other factor that Myers said she’s proud of is the restaurant’s affordability because it offers these steakhouse quality items without the matching price tag.
Prices for many menu items will run diners between $9 and $14 dollars price-wise while some of the steak combos are around $16.
For more information on Sizzler’s menu and hours, visit their website or give them a call at (951) 698-5623. Sizzler in Murrieta is located at 40489 Murrieta Hot Springs Road.