Three Bean Beef Chili Nachos
The year was 1988. Def Leppard was on the radio. Mullets were in. And a new barbecue restaurant opened in Canyon Country, serving the most tender and tasty tri-tip around.
Fast forward 20 years. Santa Clarita is a different place, especially without my mullet. Change is inevitable, however, and even an institution like Rattler's Bar-B-Que can't escape it.
After two decades, Rattler's has grown up. They have a new location, added features, and an expanded menu.
Rattler's moved to its Golden Valley Road address in Centre Pointe about three months ago, and the new digs are decidedly different. Rope art, cattle implements and animal traps mounted on the walls have given way to high ceilings, bold colors, and funky, hand-decorated cowboy boots. The bar dominates the center of the dining room and a collection of nearby booths sit under an arch of stamped metal that brings to mind a covered wagon's canvas bonnet. Those who like to be outside can choose to be seated in the new patio dining area.
The menu looks familiar, but look closely and you'll see some tempting new offerings. The Three Bean Beef Chili Nachos are a popular appetizer, and guests are discovering the new salads, said General Manager Travis Hastings. Among them are the Grilled Tri Tip and Arugula, which is accented with balsamic vinaigrette and bleu cheese crumbles.
Other noteworthy salad additions include the Asian Chicken, Traditional Greek, and the Texas Chili Salad, which combines Rattler's homemade chili with mixed greens, roasted corn, red cabbage, avocado, feta cheese, tomato, red onion and tortilla strips topped with Poblano Ranch dressing.
Rope art, cattle implements and animal traps mounted on the walls have given way to high ceilings, bold colors, and funky, hand-decorated cowboy boots.
For those opposed to change, rest assured that while Rattler's may look different, it still tastes the same. My wife April and I experienced it for ourselves on a recent Sunday night visit. I'd like to say the tri-tip was as good as ever, but much to our disappointment, they had sold out by the time we arrived at 6:30 p.m. We opted instead for chicken (April) and baby back ribs (me). Both were delicious. The ribs were full of tender pork, and April's chicken breast was juicy and full of flavor.
A trip to the salad bar, along with some shredded onions, started us off. While the salad bar area looks smaller, there is no shortage of topping choices. They also have plenty of other cold salads to choose from, including my favorite, the dill pasta salad made with shells.
The big question of course is, "What about the rolls?" As soft and buttery as ever. We consumed way too many of them, but somehow still managed to save room for dessert.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie experience is a plate full of indulgence. As the name suggests, a chocolate chip cookie is a key ingredient. It is actually a cookie bar, and it comes topped with scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, along with whipped cream.
While adding some new twists to their trademark classics, it looks like Rattler's is ready for another 20-year run. Unlike my mullet.
Rattler's Bar-B-Que is located at 26495 Golden Valley Road in Santa Clarita. Call 251-4195 or visit www.rattlersbbq.com for more information.