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The Indy Endorsement

10 Jan 2014
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What: The cordoniz estilo Ernesto (quail, Ernesto style) Where: Rio Azul Mexican Bar and Grill, 350 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $24.95 Contact: 760-992-5641; rioazulpalmsprings.com Why: It’s one of the tastiest plates of food in the entire valley. I grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Reno, Nev., where quail are ubiquitous. Thus, I know a little bit about these birds. Quail are cute. Quail are fast. Quail don’t seem all that bright. And I’d never thought of quail as all that delicious, either. I’d eaten quail a couple of times, and those meals were rather…
17 Dec 2013
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What: The Chicken Caprese Where: Cello’s, 35943 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City How much: $18 for lunch; $20 for dinner Contact: 760-328-5353; www.cellosbistro.com Why: It’s subtly delicious. The word “delicious” is surprisingly versatile. Most people use “delicious” to refer to yummy food, but didja know that the first definition of the word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is simply “affording great pleasure”? Of course, the second definition relates a little more specifically to food—“appealing to one of the bodily senses, especially of taste or smell,” to be exact—but regarding the word’s versatility, think about how many different foods you consider “delicious.”…
12 Dec 2013
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What: The croque madame Where: L’Atelier Deli, 129 La Plaza, Palm Springs How much: $9 Contact: 760-778-7895; www.latelier-deli.com Why: Lots of flavor in a small package. As the story goes: Raphael and Charlotte Farsy, a young French couple from Paris, came to Palm Springs in March 2012 on their honeymoon. As often happens when people visit here, they became smitten with the desert, and decided to stay. Raphael is a pastry chef—and so L’Atelier Deli was born. We should all be happy about Raphael and Charlotte’s decision to stay, because as a result, we get the benefit of this small,…
19 Nov 2013
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What: The Tom Yum Soup Where: Le Basil, 72695 Highway 111, No. A10, Palm Desert How much: $4.95 (chicken) or $6.95 (shrimp); hot pots also available Contact: 760-773-1112; www.lebasilrestaurant.com Why: The flavors are amazing. I love soup. No matter the time of year, and no matter how freaking hot the weather gets, I am up for a bowl of tasty, delicious soup—and one of my favorite soups, when done right, is tom yum. I have tried this hot-and-sour soup at Thai restaurants far and wide, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s easy to make a good version…
12 Nov 2013
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What: The Pork Schnitzel, Salzberg Style Where: Café Scandia, 356 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $17.95; also includes soup and salad Contact: 760-327-2036; www.cafescandia.com Why: It’s moist yet not greasy, with lots of flavor. The good folks at Café Scandia have not put that much effort into signage. The signs outside look like someone went to Home Depot, bought some stick-on letters, and hastily placed them on the signs’ surfaces. Ironically, the restaurant could use some good signage: It’s in an easy-to-miss spot tucked away in a small, easy-to-miss Indian Canyon Drive shopping center. If not for…
21 Oct 2013
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What: The Banana Walnut Pancakes Where: The Palms Café, 69930 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; also at 44150 Town Center Way, Palm Desert How much: $9.75; also available as an add-on with other entrées Contact: 760-770-1614 (Rancho Mirage), 760-779-1617 (Palm Desert); thepalmscaferm.com Why: Big chunks of banana. I like pancakes—but I rarely order them for breakfast. Here’s why: When it comes to a choice between pork (sausage … bacon … mmm!) and what’s basically bread covered with some sort of sweet sauce, I am going to go with the pork 99.43 percent of the time. Because, y’know, pork. However, the banana…
10 Oct 2013
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What: Pablo’s Chicken-Fried Steak Where: Don and Sweet Sue’s Café, 68995 Ramon Road, Cathedral City How much: $10.95 Contact info: 760-770-2760; www.donandsweetsues.com Why: No knife necessary. Every so often, I get a craving for a food that is terrible for my body, but fantastic for my taste buds. (The most embarrassing of these cravings: a Moons Over My Hammy from Denny’s. Yes, I have much to be ashamed of.) Recently, one of these cravings struck: I needed chicken-fried steak, and I needed it now. And I knew just where to head: Don and Sweet Sue’s Café, in Cathedral City. Of…
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…