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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

The Indy Endorsement

22 May 2015
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What: The Italian Soda at Ristretto Where: Ristretto, 500 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $2.50 medium, $2.95 large Contact: 760-656-7352; ristrettops.com Why: It’s a refreshing drink in a relaxing spot. We often praise the virtues of simple food in this space—we are fans of quality ingredients, properly combined and lovingly prepared. However, I doubt we’ll ever tout a simpler item than this, the Italian soda at Ristretto. Why, you may ask, are we bestowing the extreme honor of an Indy Endorsement on a drink that consists of soda water, Torani syrup, ice and nothing else? After all,…
15 May 2015
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What: The Peanut Butter and Banana Shake Where: Great Shakes, 160 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A, Palm Springs How Much: $5.50 to $7.50 Contact: 760-327-5300; greatshakesps.com Why: Fresh ingredients make for … well, great shakes. In April 2013, the walk down Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs became all the more dangerous for people’s waistlines—and all the more enthralling for people’s taste buds. That’s when Great Shakes opened, in a little storefront just north of Arenas Road. Inside, you’ll be greeted by a chalkboard menu offering more than two-dozen milkshake concoctions, all made with premium vanilla ice cream…
24 Apr 2015
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What: The Falafel Pita Where: Francesco’s Café, 72047 Dinah Shore Drive, No. C1, Rancho Mirage How much: $9.95 Contact: 760-202-4425 Why: The falafel is perfect—and it’s enhanced by the yummy accompaniments. So Francesco’s Café specializes in Italian and Persian cuisine. Wait, what? Last I checked, Italy and Persia (or, as it’s called today, Iran) are about 2,000 miles away—making this cuisine combo somewhat suspect. But you know what? This mix works quite well, as fans of this little strip-mall hole-in-the-wall will tell you. Here at Independent world headquarters, we’re particularly smitten with the stuff on the Persian side of the…
09 Apr 2015
What: The Szechwan beef lunch special Where: China Bistro, 45765 Towne St., Indio How much: $7.50 (lunch special) Contact: 760-342-7288; chinabistroindio.com Why: Good flavor—and they deliver the spice, if you ask. Let’s say you’re an east valley resident craving good Chinese food for lunch. Or maybe you’re from the west valley, and you’ve been called to do your civic duty at the Larson Justice Center—and you want a quick, delicious lunch (preferably at a spot within walking distance). In either case, it’d be smart to head to China Bistro. Just a block north of the Larson Justice Center, China Bistro…
27 Mar 2015
What: The Drunken Noodles Where: Blue Orchid, 73030 El Paseo, No. 102, Palm Desert How much: $11.95 Contact: 760-776-6610; blueorchidpd.com Why: The soft noodles and the fresh flavors. On the west end of El Paseo in Palm Desert, near the semi-convergence of El Paseo, Highway 111 and Highway 74, good Thai food is in abundance. We’ve extolled the virtues before of Le Basil, and now we’re extolling the virtues of Blue Orchid—and specifically, Blue Orchid’s drunken noodles. With these drunken noodles, the noodles really are the star of the show—they’re soft, yet not too soft, and you can sense the…
20 Mar 2015
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What: The Happy Hour New York Steak Where: Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill, 265 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $15 Contact: 760-320-8041; www.sammygsrestaurant.com Why: It’s a fantastic deal. There are so many things we like about the happy hour New York steak deal at Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill that we feel the need to make a list: 1. It’s inexpensive. For just $15—the cost of a cocktail at some wayward “upscale” bars—you can get an 8-ounce New York steak. And fries. And a mixed-greens salad. In other words, you can enjoy a whole meal for just three Lincolns.…
27 Feb 2015
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What: The Sour Where: Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $10 Contact: 760-537-7337; www.barwastaken.com Why: It’s one of the best cocktails in the valley. I am convinced that Bar (if you’re unfamiliar, yes, that’s the name of the place in its entirety) remains underrated, even though the bar/restaurant/music venue has, in fact, received a fair amount of acclaim—including nabbing top honors in the Best Cocktail category of our inaugural Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll. You know what? Our readers are pretty gosh-darned smart. Not only does Bar have one of the valley’s best cocktail menus;…
20 Feb 2015
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What: The Black Spaghetti and Clams Where: Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine, 70026 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How Much: $25 Contact: 760-770-9508; catalanrestaurant.com Why: It tastes great—and looks amazing. New Orleans is one of the best food cities I’ve ever visited. We were last there in 2011, and it seemed like every meal we enjoyed (well, make that every meal we had when we escaped from the tourist trap that is Bourbon Street) was simply fantastic. One of the best meals we had—OK, two of the best meals we had, because we simply had to go back a second time—was at Domenica,…
23 Jan 2015
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What: The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Where: Delicatesse, 117 La Plaza, Palm Springs How much: $7.95 Contact: 760-300-3601; www.psdelicatesse.com Why: It’s spicy, fresh and delicious. My, how time flies. I’ve been intrigued by Delicatesse, located in downtown Palm Springs’ La Plaza, ever since it opened. I looove good deli, yet I had never managed to stop in to try Delicatesse’s “Euro deli delights”; either I was walking by when it was closed at night, or I was zooming by on my way somewhere else during the day. I figured this neglect had been going on for several months now, maybe even…
08 Jan 2015
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What: The Torinise Sandwich Where: The Real Italian Deli, 100 S. Sunrise Way, Suite B, Palm Springs; also at 44795 San Pablo Avenue, No. 1, Palm Desert How much: $7.99 Contact: 760-325-3800 (Palm Springs); 760-836-1493 (Palm Desert); facebook.com/therealitaliandeli Why: The yummy ingredients—especially the bread. The Real Italian Deli opened in Palm Desert in late 2013 to nearly universal acclaim. However, your humble scribe just so happens to live in downtown Palm Springs, meaning that my dining opportunities in Palm Desert are relatively few and far between. As a result, I hadn’t yet sampled the goodies there. That’s why I was…