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The Indy Endorsement

16 Sep 2013
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What: The Wedge Salad Trio Style Where: TRIO Restaurant, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $10 Contact info: 760-864-8746; www.triopalmsprings.com Why: The ingredients are in perfect balance. A while back, a local steakhouse that shall go unnamed offered a wedge salad as part of a prix-fixe special—and that wedge salad did not include bacon. The menu was accurate—bacon was not mentioned in the description—but I did not notice this fact until I went back and looked later, because HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU HAVE A WEDGE SALAD WITHOUT BACON? Thankfully, the wedge salad at TRIO has…
30 Aug 2013
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What: Nora’s Nutty Salad Where: Karen’s Café, 77682 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert How much: $8.50 Contact info: 760-772-2800 Why: The crunch and the hint of sweetness. I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I did not want to order Nora’s Nutty Salad. Don’t get me wrong; the salad sounded yummy—I like romaine lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, onions, sunflower seeds, almonds, honey-sesame cashews and chicken—but Karen’s Café also serves breakfast, which means things like eggs and bacon are available, and really: Is there anything yummier on this planet than eggs and freaking bacon? But, y’know, healthiness and losing weight are important, too,…
09 Aug 2013
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What: Various pollo items Where: El Taco Asado, 440 S. El Cielo Road, Palm Springs How much: Varies; $9.75 for the combo No. 1 is a good way to go Contact: 760-323-7544; eltacoasado.com Why: This is not your normal Mexi-restaurant chicken. Chicken. It’s often the least-heralded meat at Mexican joints, and for good reason: Beef does better with grilling; you can do a ton of interesting things with fish; and pork is … well, pork. That’s not to say chicken is bad. It stews well, after all, and can absorb a ton of surrounding flavors—although it’s often presented in a…
02 Aug 2013
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What: The gazpacho Where: Tinto, inside the Saguaro, 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $11 Contact: 760-322-1900; www.jdvhotels.com/restaurants/california/riverside-dining/tinto Why: The smoothness. A friend recently told me that she has thus far avoided Tinto—the Iron Chef-owned “Basque wine bar” restaurant inside the Saguaro Palm Springs—because she finds the menu “a tad scary.” I am blessed (or perhaps cursed, if you consider my waistline’s perspective) with the ability to eat and enjoy almost anything (as long as it’s … y’know … good). However, I do understand that not everyone is like me, and a menu featuring all sorts of…
23 Jul 2013
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What: The Red Wine Braised Short Ribs Where: The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro, 73101 Highway 111, Palm Desert How much: $21 Contact: 760-837-9600; www.the3rdcornerpalmdesert.com Why: It’s forkably good. While many folks, locals and nonlocals alike, snivel about summer in the Coachella Valley, I kind of like this time of year. The roads are less crowded. The (very) occasional rains are nice. And the dining deals at many restaurants can’t be beat. One such restaurant that’s offering some ganga deals is the 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro, which has been around for a few years in Palm Desert…
05 Jul 2013
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What: The fish tacos Where: El Ranchito Taco Shop, 34580 Monterey Ave., No. 103, Palm Desert How much: $2.49 Contact: 760-320-9182; www.elranchitotacoshop.net Why: The sauce, the crispiness and the price. The first-ever Indy Endorsement was published on Nov. 1 of last year. The subject of our effusive praise: the fish tacos at Shanghai Reds. Now, more than eight months later, we’re celebrating another Indy Endorsement first: For the first time, we’re endorsing essentially the same item (fish tacos) at a second restaurant. One may have a reasonable expectation of getting a great fish taco at a local mini-chain that has…
28 Jun 2013
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What: The Gyros Plate Where: Nina’s Traditional Greek Cuisine and Pizzeria, 555 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs How much: $10 Contact: 760-323-8552; www.ninasgreekcuisine.com Why: The mixture of crunch and moist and creamy I just finished the gyros plate I got for lunch at Nina’s Traditional Greek Cuisine and Pizzeria. Two words describe how I am feeling right now. Full. And—foremost—happy. I am full, because the food on said plate is not a small portion. There are four smallish slices of pita bread, two large Kalamata olives, a fairly generous amount of marinated red onions, slices of tomato, a cup of…
20 Jun 2013
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What: The picnic eggs Where: Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $6 Contact: 760-537-7337; www.barwastaken.com Why: A deliciously spicy twist on an American classic. Question: Is there anything more all-American than the deviled egg? Answer: Well … yeah, there is: mom, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Vin Scully, for starters. Still, deviled eggs are pretty gosh-darned American—they’ve been a picnic and party staple for years, after all. And at downtown Palm Springs’ Bar, one can enjoy this all-American classic—with a distinctly Asian twist. The menu says it all: Picnic eggs. Eggs siracha wasabi. Yeah, they…
17 Jun 2013
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What: The shaved spit-roast organic pork Where: Figue Mediterranean, 47474 Washington St., La Quinta How much: $29 Contact: 760-698-9040; www.eatfigue.com Why: Savory + sweet + pork skin = OMG Can we talk about pig skin for a moment? No, I am not referring to football here. I am talking about cracklins, or chicharrones, whatever you want to call this most delicious of foods. It’s chewy. It’s salty. It’ll send your cardiologist into a snit. And it’s one of the factors that make the shaved spit-roast organic pork at Figue Mediterranean worth the $29 price tag. While chicharrones could make almost…
31 May 2013
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What: The Tuesday-night spaghetti with meat sauce Where: Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar and Grille, 214 E. Arenas Road, Palm Springs How much: $6.95 Contact: 760-866-1905; www.bongojohnnys.com Why: It’s delicious, bottomless and amazingly inexpensive. The website announces: “Bongo Johnny's is one of the best neighborhood restaurants in Palms Springs.” The strange “Palms Springs” reference aside, I agree with that assessment—especially on Tuesdays, when this Arenas Road, gay-friendly restaurant offers its “Italian Night” special. For $6.95, one can get all the spaghetti with meat sauce that one can snork down, as well as either soup or salad. (If one wants to add…

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