What: The Canyon Creek pulled mushroom sandwich
Where: Larkspur Grill, 45400 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert
How much: $16.50
Contact: 760-340-6069; www.larkspurgrill.com
Why: It’s a delicious vegetarian take.
During the depths of the stay-at-home orders, the Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market offered salvation. It was a safe place where I could get out of the house, perhaps see some friends, and get fresh ingredients for yummy meals at home.
Whenever I arrived, I headed immediately to the Canyon Creek Mushrooms booth, for two reasons: First, I’d fallen in love with these fresh, fantastic, locally grown mushrooms. I frequently used them with steaks, in soups, and on their own.
Second … Canyon Creek tended to sell out quickly, and few varieties were left by the time I, a late riser on Saturdays, got to the farmers’ market.
Therefore, I was delighted to see the words “Canyon Creek” on Larkspur Grill’s lunch menu during a recent visit. I was meeting my colleague Kevin to talk shop, and we decided it’d be nice to check out the restaurant that had taken over AC3 Restaurant + Bar’s former space at the Hotel Paseo. The mushrooms—specifically, king trumpet mushrooms, according to the server—were the star ingredient in the Canyon Creek pulled mushroom sandwich, joining barbecue sauce and curtido (Salvadoran-style) slaw. Being such a Canyon Creek fan, I had to order it.
How does this vegetarian take on a pulled-pork sandwich compare to the original? The texture was definitely different—the mushrooms are firmer than shredded pork, and they don’t absorb as much; as a result, the sandwich was a bit over-sauced. But beyond that minor quibble, this was every bit as tasty. The mushrooms were savory and perfectly prepared—and I loved each and every bite.
Props to Larkspur Grill for taking great a local ingredient and making it shine. I’ll be back.