Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

The Indy Endorsement

17 Apr 2018
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What: The avocado fries Where: Grill-a-Burger, 73091 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert How much: $8.95 Contact: 760-346-8170; Why: The rich mix of crunch and creamy. I love avocados. They’re delicious; they’re good for you; and they’re interesting. (For example: Did you know the avocado is technically a berry? Really!) Plus, avocados gave the world guacamole. Enough said. Given my love for avocados, it should come as no surprise that on a recent trip to Grill-a-Burger—the highly regarded and somewhat famous (thank you, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) Palm Desert restaurant—with friend and colleague Kevin, I simply had to try the…
12 Apr 2018
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What: The Porto crepe Where: Lala’s Waffles Crepes and Shakes, 34041 Date Palm Drive, Suite E, Cathedral City How much: $8.35 Contact: 760-202-3443; Why: It’s a treat you don’t find often. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: What if you heard a new Mexican restaurant was opening near you? Would you be excited—even if you had reason to believe that new Mexican restaurant was going to be really, really good? Probably not—because the Coachella Valley is already home to a wide variety of Mexican joints serving up all sorts of yummy eats. Right? Well … what if…
21 Mar 2018
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What: The chile relleno plate Where: Cardenas Market, 31655 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City How much: $6.99 Contact: 760-422-1330; Why: It’s a delicious bargain. When we moved here five years ago, the initial plan was to buy a house not too far from the Cathedral City Cardenas. I remember first walking into the huge Mexican-focused supermarket and being utterly wowed by the amazing selection of prepared foods on offer there. However, the sale of that house fell through, and we wound up living in Palm Springs. Therefore, I had little reason to go to Cardenas—and somehow, I forgot about…
14 Mar 2018
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What: The lobster bisque Where: Gelson’s Market, 36101 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage How much: $8.99 Contact: 760-770-0010; Why: Great flavor, fine price. The grocery store located at Bob Hope and Gerald Ford drives has had a turbulent history in recent years. It was a Pavilions; for about 15 minutes (give or take), it was a Haggen; and then it became a Gelson’s. When Gelson’s opened in the space a little more than two years ago, however, the new owners brought with them a different mindset: The people behind the Southern California mini-chain not only wanted to genuinely become…
15 Feb 2018
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What: The Tom Yum Soup Where: Thai House, 246 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $11.95 Contact: 760-778-1728; Why: It’s a delicious pick-me-up. Whenever I am stuffed up due to a cold or an allergy attack, I go see Nisa—and she helps me feel better. Such was the case one recent workday. I had a crazy sinus headache, and I had a lot of work to do, so I headed to downtown Palm Springs to get some sinus-clearing chicken tom yum soup at Thai House. The aforementioned Nisa is Nisa Hennecke, the owner of Thai House for…
08 Feb 2018
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What: The Maple and Cardamom Coffee Where: Ernest Coffee, 1101 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $5.50 Contact: 760-318-4154; Why: Great ingredients make for a great beverage. Ernest Coffee is part of a wave of great independent coffee shops that have opened in the West Valley in recent years (including Ristretto, Gré Coffeehouse and Art Gallery, 4 Paws, Joey, Custom, etc., etc.)—but several things set Ernest apart from the others. First: It serves Stumptown Coffee, a renowned brand out of Portland, Ore., something the folks at Ernest are quite proud of. Second: It shares the space with…
11 Jan 2018
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What: The Strawberry Banana Crepes Where: Sloan’s Restaurant, 81539 Highway 111, Indio How much: $13.29 Contact: 760-347-3923; Why: The high-quality ingredients make all of the sweetness work. While have quite a healthy sweet tooth when it comes to desserts, I usually prefer savory breakfasts and brunches, for reasons I’ve discussed in this space before. But on rare occasions, my sweet tooth makes its presence known during breakfast—and this was the case during a recent meal at Sloan’s in Indio. Therefore, I ordered one of the house specialties, the strawberry banana crepes. All I can say is … wow. Talk…
09 Jan 2018
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What: The Buttermilk Pie Where: Billy Reed’s, 1800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $5.25 Contact: 760-325-1946; Why: It’s the epitome of a perfectly rich dessert. During my first four years of residence in the Coachella Valley, I somehow never dined at Billy Reed’s, the old-school restaurant mainstay in Palm Springs. About a year or so ago, I finally righted this culinary wrong—and instantly fell in love with the place, with its traditional American menu, its stained-glass bar décor and its reasonable prices. Lately, I’ve been falling in love with another aspect of Billy Reed’s: Its amazing…
21 Dec 2017
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What: The queso y frijoles pupusa Where: El Salvador Café, 1751 N. Sunrise Way, #F2 How much: $2.95 Contact: 760-322-3778 Why: It’s stunningly simple but flavorful. We were bummed out. The front end of my car had been smooshed up in an accident a couple of days prior, and we were on our way to an auto-body shop for an insurance-mandated damage assessment. But first … we needed a tasty lunch—and, if possible, a good cheer-up. Thankfully, El Salvador Café was able to provide us with both. I’d been craving pupusas—thick corn tortillas stuffed with some sort of filling—after seeing…
14 Dec 2017
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What: The Chorizo Taco Where: Tacos El Poblano, 68100 Ramon Road, Cathedral City How much: $1.49; $1 on Tuesday and Thursday Contact: 760-534-0446; Why: It’s a few bites of deliciousness. It was the noon hour. I was hungry, so I headed to a restaurant I’d heard good things about, located in the shopping center at the northeast corner of Ramon Road and Landau Boulevard. I went to the door, saw an “open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. sign,” pulled the handle … and the door was locked. For some unannounced and undisclosed reason, the restaurant was closed, no…