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The Indy Endorsement

14 Feb 2019
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What: The French onion soup Where: Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar and Grill, 301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 200, Palm Springs How much: $3.95 for a cup; $6.95 for a bowl Contact: 760-318-3960; www.bongojohnnys.com Why: It’s delicious, pure and simple. Before I begin extolling the deliciousness of the French onion soup at Bongo Johnny’s, I should explain that this restaurant holds a special place in my heart. You see, Bongo Johnny’s supports many of the same causes I do—the Desert AIDS Project, for example, via Dining Out for Life. It’s also an active member of the Desert Business Association (of…
06 Feb 2019
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What: The mac and cheese egg rolls Where: Bubba’s Bones and Brews, 68525 Ramon Road, No. A101, Cathedral City How much: $7.95 Contact: 760-699-7231; bubbasbonesandbrews.com Why: It’s decadent and delicious. You know that feeling when you see something on a restaurant menu, and you think, “Holy hell, that sounds amazing, and I MUST have it!”? Well, that’s how I felt when I saw the words “Mac and Cheese Egg Roll” on the menu at Bubba’s, the barbecue place—in a Cathedral City strip mall—that’s been winning over fans due to its delicious meats and impressive beer selection. It was my first…
09 Jan 2019
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What: The chicken chiles Agave Where: Fresh Agave Mexican Bar and Grill, 73325 Highway 111, Palm Desert How much: $12.50 Contact: 760-836-9028; www.freshagavemexicanbarandgrill.com Why: The sauce ties it all together. It wasn’t supposed to be my entrée. I was having my monthly meeting with Independent contributor Kevin Fitzgerald, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted for lunch. I hadn’t been to Fresh Agave before, and I wanted to give the place a try, given how well it does in our Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll every year. I intended to get a couple of items to try; because of…
04 Jan 2019
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What: The house turkey club Where: Carousel Bakery, 440 S. El Cielo Road, No. 5, Palm Springs How much: $9.99 Contact: 760-699-5006; carouselbakeryps.com Why: It’s mostly made in-house. I’ve pledged to substantially cut my carbohydrate intake in 2019—and places like Carousel Bakery are making it very difficult for me to keep this pledge. Pretty much everything Carousel makes is carbs … and pretty much everything Carousel makes is delicious. On a recent visit to Carousel (at which I’d decided to completely and totally throw the diet out the figurative window, obviously), I decided to get the house turkey club sandwich…
13 Dec 2018
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What: The Meatloaf Sandwich Meal Where: The Desert Queen. 35400 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City How much: $10.99 Contact: 442-615-0344; thedesertqueen1.com Why: It mended my broken heart. When the server came to take my order, she broke my heart. My heart was set on having biscuits and gravy. I’d seen a couple of online raves about this down-home dish at The Desert Queen, a new Southern-style restaurant in Cathedral City, and as lunchtime approached, biscuits and gravy sounded freaking amazing. So I put The Desert Queen’s address in my GPS, and off I went. After I arrived and seated myself,…
05 Dec 2018
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What: The cinnamon brown sugar breakfast tart Where: Wilma and Frieda’s, 155 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; also at 73575 El Paseo Drive, Palm Desert How much: $4.95 Contact: 760-992-5080 (Palm Springs); 760-773-2807 (Palm Desert); wilmafrieda.com Why: They’re delicious—and very affordable. When I heard that Wilma and Frieda’s was going to be taking over the former location of The Falls—one of the most beautiful restaurant spaces in the valley, overlooking the La Plaza area in downtown Palm Springs—I was elated. For five years, Wilma and Frieda’s, located on El Paseo in Palm Desert, has been serving up some of…
16 Nov 2018
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What: The spiced Jurgielewicz duck Where: 4 Saints, inside the Kimpton Rowan Hotel, 100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs How much: $37 Contact: 760-392-2020; www.4saintspalmsprings.com Why: The nuance. Sometimes when I’m hungry, I want to head to the civilized human equivalent of a feed trough and eat. Other times, I want something a little more refined … nuanced … special. Enter 4 Saints, the gorgeous restaurant on the top floor of the year-old Kimpton Rowan Hotel in downtown Palm Springs. I’ve dined there twice now—twice a year is about what my finances will allow—and both times, I have been…
08 Nov 2018
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What: The weekday lunch buffet Where: Emperor Buffet, 69600 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How much: $9.99 Contact: 760-328-9200 Why: It’s cheap with a lot of delicious stuff. I know that some of you have read the headline and instantly determined that I must have lost my damn mind. Is he really giving the high honor of an Indy Endorsement to a free-standing Asian buffet in Rancho Mirage?! Why, yes, indeed I am. Here’s why. I concede that not everything available at Emperor Buffet is great … or even good. The desserts, for example, are bleh, and the sesame chicken—one of…
11 Oct 2018
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What: The black truffle pommes frites Where: AC3 Restaurant + Bar, 45350 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert How much: $9 separately; $7 at happy hour; $4 upcharge with the lobster B.L.T. (as shown) Contact: 760-340-6069; www.ac3palmdesert.com Why: They’re crispy and delicious. AC3 Restaurant and Bar opened with one of the best pedigrees of any new local joint in recent memory: The restaurant—inside the gorgeous Hotel Paseo—is the result of a partnership between Trio’s Tony Marchese, and Copley’s on Palm Canyon’s Juliana and Andrew Copley. I met friend and colleague Kevin there for a recent weekday lunch to see if AC3 lived…
04 Oct 2018
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What: The big guac burrito Where: Guacamoles, 555 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs How much: $9.25 Contact: 760-325-9766; www.guacsps.com Why: It’s one of the tastiest burritos around. Guacamoles does not get the respect it deserves. The Mexican restaurant is an undeniable success—it’s been open now for 28 years, since the Sesma family launched it during the first half of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. Yet when I hear people talking about their Palm Springs-area Mexican-food favorites, Guacmoles rarely comes up. Perhaps this is due to the space Guacamoles occupies: It’s small and tucked away in the middle of the shopping mall…

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