About the restaurant: The Burlington Hacienda was built in 1970. It’s architecture is unique to the area. Built as a replica of an old plantation Hacienda – the room’s centerpiece is a natural stone fireplace. All the interior walls display an original mural painting by nationally known artist – Vern Skaug. More important than the physical surroundings is the great reputation the Hacienda has for being the best steakhouse in the region.
About the owners: Ryan Schwandt started at the Hacienda as a cook 1998. He later began managing the restaurant and in 2005 Ryan and his wife Cindy purchased the restaurant and made a commitment to make Burlington their home.
About the history: “Hacienda” is a Spanish word for an estate or a vast ranch. In the old days, Hacienda’s were large plantations with owners (called hacendado or patron) and ranch hands (called peones, campesinos and gauchos). Often this system was one of power and discrimination of the landowner toward the workers. Thus, the word “Hacienda” became known as a place of luxury for the rich and powerful to relax and enjoy themselves.
Our version of a “Hacienda” is a little different. Most mornings, the owners of the Burlington Hacienda can be found preparing the day’s food before the employees even get to work. Ryan is often found in the kitchen cooking the meals, walking around with a coffee pot in case anyone needs a quick warm-up, or just stopping for some conversation to catch up with the local news. Cindy can be seen greeting guests and making sure everyone’s getting great service. Other family members help to make sure the cleaning is done and the building is preserved in it’s original style. In addition, the Hacienda hires and employs local workers which helps support the local economy.