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The Indy Endorsement

09 Feb 2016
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What: The German Pancake Where: Elmer’s, 1030 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $10.29; $12.29 as a combo Contact: 760-327-8419; eatatelmers.com Why: It’s a fantastic sweet breakfast. Not too long ago, I ordered the German pancake at Elmer’s Restaurant. One of my dining companions was, well, actually German—and he was baffled. “I’ve never heard of such a thing before,” he said, pointing to the huge, thin, pan-shaped concoction on my plate topped with lemon, butter and powdered sugar. He was baffled for good reason: Turns out the German pancake is not very German after all. While the dish…
15 Jan 2016
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What: The Marcie’s Matcha smoothie Where: Fresh Juice Bar, 73030 El Paseo, No. 104, Palm Desert; also in La Quinta and Palm Springs How much: $5.95 for 16 ounces; $7.95 for 24 ounces Contact: 760-837-9777; freshjuicebar.com Why: All the unique flavors. As I drove away from the Fresh Juice Bar on El Paseo, I faced a dilemma. I knew I was going to be writing an Indy Endorsement about the Marcie’s Matcha smoothie on which I was sipping; after all, it was one of the best smoothies I’d ever tasted. However … I could not figure out how in the…
08 Jan 2016
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What: The Veal Marsala Where: Lord Fletcher’s, 70385 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How much: $28 Contact: 760-328-1161; www.lordfletcher.com Why: It’s a classic dish at a classic venue. I recently celebrated a friend’s birthday at Lord Fletcher’s. Turns out Lord Fletcher’s is celebrating a birthday of its own. Ron Fletcher opened the restaurant, offering “a touch of Olde England on Restaurant Row” in Rancho Mirage, back in 1966. That means Lord Fletcher’s—now owned and managed by Ron’s son, Michael Fletcher—this year is turning the big 5-0. Given that most restaurants don’t even last one year, the fact that Lord Fletcher’s has…
11 Dec 2015
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What: The Opera Cake Where: Pastry Swan’s Fix, a Dessert House, 73580 El Paseo, Palm Desert How much: $8.50 Contact: 760-340-3040; www.pastryswan.com Why: It’s a dessert with a lot going on. Epicurious.com tells the story of opera cake like this: “Many believe that Louis Clichy was its creator because he premiered the gâteau (cake), with his name written across the top, at the 1903 Exposition Culinaire in Paris. It became the signature cake of Clichy’s shop on the Boulevard Beaumarchais. However, another pastry shop, Dalloyau, sold a very similar dessert, known as L’Opéra (in honor of the Paris Opera), and…
05 Dec 2015
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What: The capricciosa pizza Where: Piero’s PizzaVino, 73722 El Paseo No. 1, Palm Desert How much: $15.90 lunch; $18.50 dinner; $8.90 happy hour Contact: 760-568-2525; www.ppizzavino.com Why: Amazing quality and a low price. It’s often said that pizza is like sex: Even when it’s bad, it’s good. Well, I strongly disagree. I’ve had some baaaad pizza before that was in no way good. (As for bad sex … well, that’s a discussion for a different column.) After enjoying the capricciosa pizza at Piero’s PizzaVino, I disagree even more: This pizza is so excellent that it makes almost all other pizza…
27 Nov 2015
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What: The Veal Ingleside Where: Melvyn’s Restaurant, at the Ingleside Inn, 200 W. Ramon Road How much: $28.75 Contact: 760-325-2323; inglesideinn.com/melvyns-restaurant Why: It’s a “famous signature creation” for a reason. A friend is visiting town. He (or she) wants to eat at a place that epitomizes old-school Palm Springs—somewhere swanky, classy. A place that knows its way around a fantastic martini. Chances are you’re taking this friend to Melvyn’s. Located at the historic Ingleside Inn, once (and occasionally still today) the playground of Hollywood icons, Melvyn’s turned 40 this year. In 1975, Mel Haber bought the iconic property and opened…
18 Nov 2015
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What: Aspirins Where: Burgers and Beer, 72773 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage; also located at 79815 Highway 111, No. 101, La Quinta How much: $7 Contact: 760-202-4522 (Rancho Mirage); 760-775-6494 (La Quinta); www.burgersandbeer.com Why: They’re a delightful, unexpected find. One expects a place called Burgers and Beer to offer a nice selection of, well, burgers and beer. One could also make an educated guess that a place that offers burgers and beer probably also offers a TV screen, or two, or 16, showing sports. However, one may not expect a place called Burgers and Beer to offer a pretty darned…
28 Oct 2015
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What: The brownie Where: Aspen Mills Bakery and Bread Company, 555 S. Sunrise Way, in Palm Springs; also located at the Rancho Mirage Library (71100 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage) and at Clark’s Nutrition (34175 Monterey Ave., Rancho Mirage) How much: $2.95 Contact: 760-323-3123; www.aspenmillsps.com Why: Chocolate yumminess. My favorite time to visit Aspen Mills’ main location in Palm Springs is the late afternoon. It’s calm. It’s quiet. And the smell inside is stupendous. The air is full of the scents of muffins and cookies and breads—oh, those amazing breads—being lovingly baked. But on a recent late-afternoon visit to Aspen Mills,…
19 Oct 2015
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What: The American Breakfast Burger Where: Tony’s Burgers, 35903 Date Palm Drive, CathedralCity How much: $7.95 Contact: 760-832-7794; www.tonysburgers.com Why: Simply put, it’s a really good burger At the northwest corner of Date Palm and Gerald Ford drives sits a nondescript strip mall. It’s notable, sort of, for two reasons: One, it’s anchored by a gym that recently moved into a long-vacant spot once occupied by a supermarket; and two, there is a ton of great food in this li’l, ho-hum-looking center. There’s yummy Thai/Asian joint Bangkok Noodles. Popular breakfast/lunch spot Michael’s Café. Solid Indian restaurant India Oven. The fantastic…
29 Sep 2015
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What: The lamb shank Where: Santorini Gyro Hamburger/Greek Food and Grill, 68375 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City How much: $16.99 Contact: 760-831-3663 Why: It’s fall-off-the-bone delicious. It was a hectic, deadline-week Tuesday. I was driving down Highway 111 through Cathedral City, and dinner time was approaching. I realized I’d soon be driving by Santorini, a new Greek restaurant in the strip-mall space that used to house Frickleburgers (R.I.P.). I was craving some gyro. I’d heard good things about Santorini from readers. Yep, it was time to get some takeout. I walked in to the 24-seat restaurant and ordered a…