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Sunday, October 23, 2016

“God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To” San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino with the opening of Rock & Brews

Dave and Dell’s love of rock & roll and merchandising started back in 1967 at an emerging rock emporium called Winterland in San Francisco. The Rolling Stones were set to perform and Dell saw an opportunity to merchandise around this concert. With a collection of psychedelic t-shirts with the Winterland marquee on the front with the Rolling Stones stenciled on the marquee, they sold hundreds of t-shirts. After this success, they formed Winterland Productions and began the merchandising business in the music industry. Dave met Peter Morton, founder of Hard Rock Café, who wanted to see if they could get some guitars and other rock memorabilia for his restaurants and in exchange bought millions of t-shirts from Dave and Dell. This sparked the dream of one day owning their own rock & roll restaurant and selling- t-shirts. In 2010, Dave, Dell, and Michael Zislis (restaurateur/hotelier extraordinaire) got together at a KISS concert. After the concert, they enjoyed a cold beer and hung out with their longtime friends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, front men of KISS. Dave said, “What’s better than rock and brews?” This group of talented, creative, and business-savvy men brainstormed and Rock & Brews was born.

 

Rock & Brews opened its newest location at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, CA. It is also their first casino location. The restaurant is situated in its own wing of the casino. The glow of the Rock & Brews red-letter marquee draws you in and “serving those who rock”! Growing up with KISS and being a total headbanger since high school, I was just so excited be invited to this special preview.

The interior is 5,500-square feet and seats 225 guests. The restaurant also includes state-of-the-art Technomedia special effects and LED light panels that extend from floor to ceiling inside and outside the restaurant. As a graphic designer, I appreciate the design. There is a wooden wall structure that reminds me of being inside a jukebox with records stacked upright and also alludes to the fluid motion of sounds waves.

At our media preview, the amazing sound system was tested by a 50’s Tribute Band featuring Brandon Bennett. These guys are fantastic! It’s like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley were brought together for one night. They sounded exactly like them! A “Ring Of Fire” excited the guests with “Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On” in their “Blue Suede Shoes”. As Elvis would say, “Thank you! Thank you very much!”

It’s time to “Lick It Up” with some tasty menu items:

Pineapple Mojito ($12) is made with Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum, fresh pineapple, pineapple juice, sugar cane, lime, and mint. I love mojitos and this one hit the pineapple spot. The mint and pineapple pair well together. It is a very refreshing cocktail! Rating: 5/5

A great “Opening Act” is the Giant Soft Authentic Bavarian Pretzel ($11.95) served with spicy-sweet mustard and bier cheese. It is definitely a show stopper when it comes out of the kitchen and makes its way across the dining floor to your table. I am a slut for pretzels and just had to have one! The exterior is glossy, caramel brown, and sprinkled with salt. The interior is soft and chewy just like a good pretzel should be. I am not a big mustard fan but I loved the spicy mustard with the pretzel. The bier cheese is also quite tasty! (Das bier käse ist sere gut! All of those years of taking German in high school and college finally paid off. LOL!) Rating: 5/5

Sweet & Spicy Asian Signature Wings ($13.95) are served with ranch dressing, celery, and carrots. OMG! These wings are amazing! They have the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The exterior is crispy and really holds up to the sauce. This is a great appetizer for sharing, but beware, you’ll be fighting for the last wing. Rating: 5/5

Gastropub Crafter Burger ($13.95) is topped with double melted Swiss, sunny-side up egg, bacon, caramelized onions, baby greens, tomato, and garlic aioli atop a sesame brioche bun. You also have a choice of natural fries, house potato salad, pasta salad, or coleslaw as your side. I love sunny-side up eggs on almost anything, but I really LOVE them on burgers. There is just something so sexy about a sunny-side egg yolk bursting as you take your first bite. It will make your eyes roll back in your head as foodgasm occurs! The burger patty itself is made with a great grind of meat making it beefy and juicy to the beholder. The play of sweet, salty, and smoky come into the play with the bacon and onions. Rating: 5/5

Fire Grilled BBQ Tri Tip Steak Platter ($17.95) is served with natural fries, grilled vegetables, onion rings, and spicy sweet BBQ sauce. It is a well-portioned entrée with ample slices of tri tip. I love the grilled skewer of vegetables. The BBQ sauce was just a little too sweet for me. As a certified BBQ judge, I simply do not like sweetness on beef, whether it is tri tip, brisket, or ribs. I ended up taking this home and made the leftovers into a tri tip veggie cheese fries the next day. Rating: 4/5

Our encore was “Purple Rain” Drops ($7.95) which are six chocolate filled French donuts drizzled with raspberry sauce, and served with whipped cream for dipping. This is a great idea but I think the chocolate needs to be sweeter or the donuts should be sugar coated after being fried. The donut tastes more like pizza dough so it needs a stronger counteraction to the dough flavor. Maybe even having the raspberry sauce as a dip instead of the whipped cream. These drops need a “bathing in the purple rain”. Rating: 4/5

I hope you enjoyed this first look at the new Rock & Brews at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. Make it a day trip to check out the restaurant and take in the sights, sounds, and maybe Lady Luck will be on your side at this amazing casino.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars

777 San Manuel Blvd.
Highland, CA 92346
+1.800.359.2464
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., Friday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Parking: Free parking structure
Rock & Brews Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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