CVIndependent

Thu07092020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

What: The Over the Edge Wedge

Where: Serious Food and Drink, 415 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How Much: $10.95

Contact: 760-832-6023; seriousfoodanddrink.com

Why: Pork. Belly. Croutons.

I am a simple man, who is into simple things. Whiskey. Baseball. Pork products. Etc.

Therefore, when I saw the description of the wedge salad on offer at Serious Food and Drink—a fantastic new restaurant occupying the building that previously housed Hamburger Mary’s—I was intrigued: “pork belly ‘croutons’ / grapes / bleu cheese-dill vinaigrette.”

Wait, what? Pork belly “croutons”?

Turns out bread has nothing to do with these “croutons.” No, these little cubes of deliciousness are pure pork, baby—specifically, they’re little fried pieces of pork belly that taste so awesome, you’ll have drool-inducing flashbacks for days afterward.

The rest of the salad is great, too. The dill in the bleu-cheese vinaigrette adds a welcome bit of pep. The grapes are fun, and create a lovely flavor profile when added to the bleu cheese. And cool, crisp lettuce is a welcome addition to almost anything when it’s 107 degrees outside.

But I’m not gonna lie: As nice as the lettuce, grapes and dressing all are, in this dish, it’s all about the pork. Yes, I’m a simple man—and these pork belly “croutons” make me very, very happy. Thank you, Serious Food and Drink, for bringing them into my life.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how fantastic Serious’ other offerings are, as well. There’s an amazing happy hour in the bar area, and the hand-crafted cocktails served here are among the best in town. The name is accurate: This is some serious food and drink, and the restaurant is a most welcome addition to the northern chunk of downtown Palm Springs.

Published in The Indy Endorsement

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 bacon. And blue cheese, both on its own and in the dressing. And tomatoes, and pine nuts—and just the perfect amount of lettuce.

In other words, it’s a balanced wedge salad—a surprising rarity in this desert, where wedge salads often include a chunk of lettuce the size of one’s head. Not at TRIO; the amount of lettuce is just substantial enough to ensure that each bite will contain all the cheesy, piggy, crunchy goodness that comes in a wedge salad.

Another problem that afflicts salads, both of the wedge and non-wedge variety, both here and around the world, is too much dressing. In fact, my default setting at most restaurants these days is to ask for these dressing on the side, because soggy salad = blech. However, I never have to do so when I order the wedge salad at TRIO, because the house-made blue cheese dressing is applied in the perfect proportion, it seems, each and every time.

In a desert chock-full of steakhouses, it’s TRIO that has perfected the wedge salad. Bravo.

Published in The Indy Endorsement