Jackalope Ranch Is Big, Really Big!
Jackalope Ranch is the largest restaurant/bar in the desert, by far. It spans 6.5 acres, which can be a positive or negative, depending on what you’re looking for. Restaurant reviewers on Tripadvisor.com gave Jackalope Ranch an average rating of 3.5 out of a possible 5 stars. I completely agree. Jackalope does have several positives and a few areas it could improve upon such as improved service during peak hours. To me, a real attribute of Jackalope Ranch is its atmosphere and outdoor patio setting.
$30 Million Investment
Don Callender, founder of the Marie Callender’s restaurant chain, is said to have invested over $30 million into Jackalope Ranch, and it shows both inside and out. This was to be Don’s flagship restaurant and he truly loved the place; he also built Babe’s in Rancho Mirage at The River. Sadly, Don passed away just before Jackalope’s completion. Jackalope Ranch is now operated by the Kaiser Restaurant Group which also owns the Hog’s Breath Inn, Chop House, Grind Burger Bar, and, of course, the Kaiser Grille.
Jackalope features an indoor saloon, outdoor palapa bar and patio, and evening entertainment including ‘Two Step Tuesday’. My husband, Bill, and I visited the restaurant for Happy Hour one recent evening. The joint was jumping (to say the least) and service was somewhat hit and miss. We sampled four small plates that were very tasty including a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich, Spicy Ahi tuna tacos, fresh guacamole with chips and, of course, their margaritas; one was great and one was not.
Tamale Festival Winner
Jackalope Ranch features fresh tamales daily, including their Pulled Chicken Verde and Pulled Pork tamales. In fact, Jackalope’s tamales are so tasty that they took first place in 2010 and 2011 at the well-known Indio International Tamale Festival.
If you’re looking for a fun place to enjoy some drinks while you munch on BBQ or small plates, give Jackalope Ranch a try. Jackalope is what it is and that seems to be fine with most of the regulars.
Jackalope Ranch is located at 80400 Highway 111 in Indio, just west of Jefferson Street. (760) 342-1999