What: The chile relleno de camaron
Where: El Patio, 139 E. Andreas Road, Palm Springs
How much: $22
Contact: 760-832-6332; www.elpatiopalmsprings.com
Why: Creamy pepperiness.
During a recent lunch at El Patio with my colleague Kevin, I ordered the chile relleno de camaron. While I was initially a bit disappointed when the plate of food was delivered to the table—the menu promises a “cheese and shrimp-stuffed chile,” and the shrimp was merely placed on top—that disappointment quickly disappeared when I started eating.
This food was goooood. Perfectly cooked shrimp plus a delicious creamy chile pasilla sauce equals a whole lot of yum.
The food also rang a bell. Later, I’d learn why it seemed familiar: Turns out I’ve had this dish, more or less, before. In fact, I’ve even endorsed it before.
Back in 2016, I went to a then-newish restaurant called Felipe’s Fine Mexican Food, and I ordered the chile relleno de camaron. I liked it so much, I wrote, that I was tempted to pick up the plate and lick up every last bit of the sauce.
Felipe’s went on to be quite successful … so successful, in fact, that the owners went on to open a second restaurant, called El Patio, in the lovely, patio-dominated space formerly occupied by Greek Islands. (I knew this at one point—we even reported on it—but it apparently slipped my mind.)
This El Patio version of the dish is not exactly the same as the version I had at Felipe’s nearly six years ago; the accompaniments are different, and, most notably—in a sign of the times—the portion is smaller, while the price is much higher. However, it is quite similar. For one thing, the El Patio version also had me tempted to pick up the plate to lick up the sauce. Yum.