So long, Sizzler

There’s a green construction fence around the Sizzler restaurant at Fourth and Vineyard in Ontario, a fact that prompts a wistful sigh on my part.

Not that I’m a Sizzler fan. Even though the restaurant was two blocks from the Daily Bulletin, I ate there only once in my 10 years here.

(I ate at Sizzlers growing up in Illinois. The Malibu chicken, which was breaded chicken with a thin slice of ham and swiss cheese melted on top, seemed like the height of sophistication when I was a boy. That’s what everyone eats in Malibu, right?)

It was my sole previous visit to the Ontario Sizzler that brings back memories.

In March 1994, I accepted a job at the Victor Valley Daily Press in Victorville and prepared to move there from Petaluma, up in the Bay Area. This was the job that brought me to Southern California.

My friend and colleague Scott Manchester from the Petaluma Argus-Courier helped me load up a rental truck and drive to Victorville. We unloaded my worldly belongings at my new Victorville apartment and I drove him to Ontario to catch a plane home. My intention was to buy him a good dinner but time was running short before his flight, so we went to Sizzler. It was near the airport, which was accessed then from Vineyard.

So, that’s why the closing was cause for a sigh. The Ontario Sizzler was the site of my first dinner as a Southern Californian. Not an auspicious beginning, but we all have to start somewhere.

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  • Bob House

    From Petaluma to Victorville?? We’re glad you decided to stay in the Southland, after a jolting transition like that.

    [I still get twinges in my neck from that Petaluma-to-Victorville whiplash. Help me, Larry H. Parker! — DA]

  • wyl

    Sizzlers are a bit like newspapers in a way. Many people remember them when they were young, have moved on elsewhere, but will cry and wax nostalgic when and if they leave for good. I remember going to Sizzler after my sixth grade graduation. You thought Malibu Chicken was fancy, I was impressed by cheese toast!

    [Oh, yeah, the Texas Toast, it was called. Or was that the name of the big bread at the old Ponderosa chain? Either way, I’m getting hungry. — DA]


    How did you end up in Petaluma from Illinois?? It is an even odder jump than the one from Petaluma to Victorville!

    We are glad you are with us now in the I.E.!!

    [Thanks! And actually, I ended up in Petaluma only from Santa Rosa, about eight miles to the north. But I did get to Santa Rosa by way of Illinois… DA]

  • JMac

    Ya know, I could go for some of that Hibachi steak and Langostino, right about now.

  • lauren garcia

    How funny! I ran into an old friend of mine today who worked with me at the Sizzler in Victorville. I opened that store many “Many” years ago. Seeing him after over 20 years brought back such memories! Funny how time flies by.