Images courtesy of Ranch 45.

Everything served in the newly opened Ranch 45 restaurant is locally sourced and responsibly raised, including their poultry and beef.

The coffee beans used for their espresso bar are from Cafe Virtuoso, while the Free-Ranch Chicken is from Mary’s. Vegetables come from Chino Farms, and their eggs from Eben-Haezer .

The star of the menu is Brandt Beef, sourced from a family-owned ranch in Imperial County dedicated to using sustainable practices to produce their premium natural beef that’s free from antibiotics with no added hormones.

In the front-of-house and behind-the-line, general manager Pam Schwartz and executive chef DuVal Warner run the show.

Warner, a retired marine, brings his passion for competitive grilling and smoking, while Schwartz contributes 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, along with her expertise as a professor in the Wine Business Education program at San Diego State University.

Schwartz also happens to be celiac, which is how and why all of their menu items can be made gluten-free and celiac safe.

The pair hail from the south, and you can taste the savory southern influence in “Country Wednesday” specials like chicken fried steak, étouffée, and gumbo.

The Space

The interior vibe is modern casual meets rustic ranch, while the spacious dog-friendly outdoor patio is the place to be to soak up the sunshine and ocean breeze.

There is also a butcher shop in the storefront where you can purchase cut-to-order beef steaks or all natural beef bacon to take home.

The Food

The breakfast menu ranges from acai bowls and green smoothies made with organic spinach, bananas, cucumber, serrano, ginger, and flax seed, to pancakes and, of course, steak.

Flaky croissants are layered with all natural beef bacon, scrambled eben haezer eggs, and smoked cheddar, and espresso drinks, like the mocha, are made with organic, fair trade espresso and Peruvian chocolate.

The weekend brunch menu expands to include the likes of omelette specials and corned beef hash.

At lunchtime, sustainably sourced meats reign.

Slow simmered bone broth is the perfect accompaniment to hearty salads like the Ranch 45 Steak Salad made with Brandt Beef dutch steak, iceberg lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, crispy onions, and house-made buttermilk ranch.

The sandwich menu includes all the classics, from burgers to corned beef to tri-tip to beef bacon BLTs and all-natural hot dogs.

The Brandt Burger is their signature, made with fresh Brandt beef, tender butter lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, bermuda onions, with the option to add smoked cheddar or gruyere, served on a brioche bun with a side of hand-cut fries.

Local kombucha and refreshing cold-pressed juices round out the menu.

In addition to the regular menu, daily specials usually include a soup and a sandwich.

The best time to visit might be during the extended Wednesday to Friday happy hours from 3pm-6pm, when Brandt “beef flights” are available along with local beer and wine.

Special Requests Welcome

Though this may seem like a palace of meat, the restaurant also has vegan-friendly options, from locally sourced salads to speciality toasts.

Chef Warner enjoys getting creative with special requests, one of which lead to the creation of a particularly delicious gluten-free battered breakfast sausage.

Anything on the menu can be made gluten-free as they have a dedicated gluten-free fryer and take extra precautions for those with celiac disease.

Plan a Visit to Ranch 45

512 Via De La Valle Suite 102, Solana Beach

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About the Contributor
Christina Kantzavelos
Christina Kantzavelos is a freelance writer and the owner and editor of the award-winning gluten-free and health-conscious travel and lifestyle blog @BuenQamino. She enjoys writing about food, travel, health, culture, and sustainable living in San Diego and beyond.