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Sat11172018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

FIND Food Bank Celebrates 35 Years of Feeding Coachella Valley Residents in Need

The statistics are staggering: Each month, FIND Food Bank—which supports the communities of the Coachella Valley, high desert and Salton Sea area—helps more than 85,000 people, both directly and through its partner agencies. In a year’s time, more than 10 million pounds of food will be given to those in need—more than half of that fresh fruit and vegetables.

The cynical among us right now might be thinking: “That’s great. But this is a restaurant-news column. What does this have to do with restaurant news?”

My retort: Those of us fortunate enough to eat at restaurants on occasion need to realize that a whole bunch of our neighbors need our help to get food on the table, period.

To that end, FIND is celebrating its 35 years of existence during September—which is also Hunger Action Month at FIND and all Feeding America-affiliated food banks—with an ambitious goal: FIND’s management is hoping 3,500 people will donate $35 to mark the Indio-based food bank’s 35 years of service.

Debbie Espinosa, FIND’s president and CEO, said she, her staff and volunteers are proud of what they’ve accomplished over 35 years.

“The accomplishment is amazing,” she said, “from starting with basic food rescue out of a blue Pinto, and turning it into a food bank that serves the Coachella Valley and beyond.”

Help out, if you can, with that $35 or more. Get details at www.findfoodbank.org.


In Brief

Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise, the sprawling restaurant located 105 S. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs, has closed for good. File this one under “wasted opportunity”: The restaurant, owned by now-in-bankruptcy Ramla USA Inc., could not take advantage of a relative dearth of Japanese restaurants in the west valley. While Gyoro Gyoro was a gorgeous restaurant with at-times great food, it seemed mismanaged, including a notorious closure following a bad health inspection, and a lack of community involvement. However, the news is not all bad: The family that owns L’Olivo Italian Restaurant, located at 333 N. Palm Canyon Drive, has already snapped up the location. Watch this space to see how that turns out. … Toucans Tiki Lounge, the popular gay bar located at 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, has been purchased by managers who are part of Foundation 10 Creative, the company that owns restaurants including Birba, Cheeky’s and Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. Dave Morgan, of Reaction Marketing and Promotions, is also involved. The new owners are saying Toucans will remain a gay bar focused on entertainment. Let’s see how this goes. ... Newish to Rancho Mirage, at 42452 Bob Hope Drive: Hielo Sno, a shaved-ice/snow-cone joint. Learn more at hielosno.business.site. … Donald “Lucky” Callender has purchased Babe’s BBQ and Brewhouse, located in Rancho Mirage’s The River at 71800 Highway 111, from the trust fund set up by his father, Donald W. Callender, the man who started both Babe’s and the Marie Callender’s chain. We hear changes are already taking place. … Celebrate Mexican Independence Day, if you’re so inclined, on Sunday, Sept. 16, with $16 tequila flights and live music at Las Casuelas Terraza, located at 222 S. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs. Watch www.lascasuelas.com for more details. … On Saturday, Sept. 15, The Saguaro, at 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, will hold its Beats and Brews Fest. For $45, sample beers and tequilas from well more than two dozen companies, and enjoy great music from bands including The Flusters, Spankshaft and Plastic Ruby. Get more details at thesaguaro.com/palm-springs. … Coming soon to Palm Desert: The Vine Wine Bar, at 74868 Country Club Drive. Watch www.thevinewinebar.com/palm-desert-ca for details. Oh, by the way, it’s right next door to a new IW Coffee location! … Bit o’ Country, the diner at 418 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, has reopened. It has new owners and has been tidied up a bit, but the greasy-spoon food and vibe remain (and we mean that in a good way). … There is good news and bad news from Bootlegger Tiki, the craft-cocktail joint at 1101 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs. The good: The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation honored the bar with one of its Spirited Awards, for having one of the 10 Best Bar Teams in the western U.S. The bad: The leader of that team since the bar’s opening, Chad Austin, has departed Bootlegger and the Coachella Valley for greener pastures. Congrats to Bootlegger, and best wishes to Chad!

Published in Restaurant & Food News

Dear Mexican: I have a Mexican friend at work, and we happened to get into a discussion that started off fine—but I believe I offended her as the discussion progressed. My intention, of course, was not to do such.

We were talking about a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and I asked if she knew the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo. “Of course I do,” she said. “It was a famous battle we won”—“we” meaning Mexico.

“That’s great,” I replied, “because a lot of people have the wrong idea. They think it’s when Mexico got its independence.” She then said, “Yeah, only you gringos think that.”

She implied that she should know because she is Mexican American. I said that she’s really an American who happens to have Mexican heritage. “I don’t call myself a European American,” I told her. I was born here, just like she was! I also said she should call herself a Roman-Moorish-Spanish-Mexican-American. Showing signs of being upset, she then said that we are really in Mexico. I was at first confused, and then realized that she was suggesting that Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico were originally Mexico’s land. I said, “Actually, we’re in Nevada, which I don’t think was part of that region.” I also stated that it was originally Indian land, and that the Mexicans took the land from the Native Americans. We, being Americans, took it from the Mexicans.

Seeing that she was upset, I apologized for upsetting her. What’s your opinion?

H.R. Harridan

Dear Gabacha: Nevada is not a former part of Mexico? Where do you think the name came from—The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle? That said, you were in the right.

She shouldn’t have called you a gringo at work—she should know better that we save that for when you’re out of sight, or we mutter it under our breath when you’re one cubicle over. She also shouldn’t be telling you that this land is Mexico—although it is, it’s a classified secret not ready for revelation until Nevada is majority-Mexican, like Southern California.

Finally, her whole weepy-moany act is beneath a true mexicana—she should’ve dismantled your weak-ass arguments with the facts or—better yet—a well-placed chinga tu madre.

I’m a very white man who lives in a small town about 13 miles from the Mexico border. In this small town, there is a coffee shop, and an attractive Mexican lady started working there. She does not speak English. I have a Spanish/English dictionary, and I have been writing her notes when I go into the coffee shop. She writes back, in Spanish, short little notes. She says hello to me every time I go in there; I have been practicing my Spanish “hello.” That is about as far as we have gotten. Her children speak English, but she does not. I cannot see spending my life talking to her through her children.

I am not sure what to do next. Can you help me with the next step? I would enjoy spending more time with her …

Still On Spanish

Dear SOS: Wow, a Marty Robbins song come to life! While your average Chicana scholar would rightfully rip you apart for your paternalistic, colonialist, macho, hetero-normative attitude, I’ll be a bit more sympathetic: You’re getting WAY ahead of yourself.

Already talking about seeing a lifetime with this woman? Get to a situation where you can slip off her chonis first, son! And to get to that step, learn some habla first. And to get to that step, get thee to a Spanish-language class; since you’re near la frontera, a soccer league will suffice.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican