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The Indy Endorsement

13 Jul 2015
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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…
10 Jul 2015
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What: The BBQ Free Range Chicken Pizza Where: BB’s at The River, 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage How Much: $13.95 (or $9 at the bar during all-day happy hour, Monday through Friday) Contact: 760-862-9800; www.bbsattheriver.com Why: This pizza backs up the brag. The sign in front of the restaurant said multiple things. It promoted a $19.99 prix fixe menu. It touted tasty burgers. And it said the restaurant served the best barbecue chicken pizza in town. Game on, BB’s at The River. I’ll take one BBQ free range chicken pizza, please. Inside, BB’s doesn’t look all that different than its…
23 Jun 2015
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What: The Beef Kebab Combination Plate Where: Aladdin Deli and Market, 68100 Ramon Road, No. A5, Cathedral City How much: $11.99 Contact: 760-328-1159; www.facebook.com/pages/Aladdin-Deli-Market/113113938755197 Why: This plate of food is beyond satisfying. I have a theory: As a general rule, the farther a restaurant is away from the street in a strip mall, the better the food is at that restaurant. This brings us to Aladdin Deli and Market. Technically, you could say Aladdin is located at the northeast corner of Ramon Road and Landau Boulevard, because it’s located in the shopping center at said corner. However, you won’t be…
12 Jun 2015
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What: The Buttermilk Fried Jidori Chicken Where: King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $24 Contact: 760-866-6180; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings/kings-highway Why: It’s a mouth-watering, nuanced delight. And now, here’s a little glimpse at how the sausage is made. (“The sausage,” in this case, means “food journalism.”) Not too long ago, the King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club invited media folks to a family-style tasting of a bunch of stuff on the restaurant’s new menu, which was developed with the help of the people at the renowned Five Leaves…
22 May 2015
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What: The Italian Soda at Ristretto Where: Ristretto, 500 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $2.50 medium, $2.95 large Contact: 760-656-7352; ristrettops.com Why: It’s a refreshing drink in a relaxing spot. We often praise the virtues of simple food in this space—we are fans of quality ingredients, properly combined and lovingly prepared. However, I doubt we’ll ever tout a simpler item than this, the Italian soda at Ristretto. Why, you may ask, are we bestowing the extreme honor of an Indy Endorsement on a drink that consists of soda water, Torani syrup, ice and nothing else? After all,…
15 May 2015
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What: The Peanut Butter and Banana Shake Where: Great Shakes, 160 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A, Palm Springs How Much: $5.50 to $7.50 Contact: 760-327-5300; greatshakesps.com Why: Fresh ingredients make for … well, great shakes. In April 2013, the walk down Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs became all the more dangerous for people’s waistlines—and all the more enthralling for people’s taste buds. That’s when Great Shakes opened, in a little storefront just north of Arenas Road. Inside, you’ll be greeted by a chalkboard menu offering more than two-dozen milkshake concoctions, all made with premium vanilla ice cream…
24 Apr 2015
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What: The Falafel Pita Where: Francesco’s Café, 72047 Dinah Shore Drive, No. C1, Rancho Mirage How much: $9.95 Contact: 760-202-4425 Why: The falafel is perfect—and it’s enhanced by the yummy accompaniments. So Francesco’s Café specializes in Italian and Persian cuisine. Wait, what? Last I checked, Italy and Persia (or, as it’s called today, Iran) are about 2,000 miles away—making this cuisine combo somewhat suspect. But you know what? This mix works quite well, as fans of this little strip-mall hole-in-the-wall will tell you. Here at Independent world headquarters, we’re particularly smitten with the stuff on the Persian side of the…
09 Apr 2015
What: The Szechwan beef lunch special Where: China Bistro, 45765 Towne St., Indio How much: $7.50 (lunch special) Contact: 760-342-7288; chinabistroindio.com Why: Good flavor—and they deliver the spice, if you ask. Let’s say you’re an east valley resident craving good Chinese food for lunch. Or maybe you’re from the west valley, and you’ve been called to do your civic duty at the Larson Justice Center—and you want a quick, delicious lunch (preferably at a spot within walking distance). In either case, it’d be smart to head to China Bistro. Just a block north of the Larson Justice Center, China Bistro…
27 Mar 2015
What: The Drunken Noodles Where: Blue Orchid, 73030 El Paseo, No. 102, Palm Desert How much: $11.95 Contact: 760-776-6610; blueorchidpd.com Why: The soft noodles and the fresh flavors. On the west end of El Paseo in Palm Desert, near the semi-convergence of El Paseo, Highway 111 and Highway 74, good Thai food is in abundance. We’ve extolled the virtues before of Le Basil, and now we’re extolling the virtues of Blue Orchid—and specifically, Blue Orchid’s drunken noodles. With these drunken noodles, the noodles really are the star of the show—they’re soft, yet not too soft, and you can sense the…
20 Mar 2015
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What: The Happy Hour New York Steak Where: Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill, 265 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs How much: $15 Contact: 760-320-8041; www.sammygsrestaurant.com Why: It’s a fantastic deal. There are so many things we like about the happy hour New York steak deal at Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill that we feel the need to make a list: 1. It’s inexpensive. For just $15—the cost of a cocktail at some wayward “upscale” bars—you can get an 8-ounce New York steak. And fries. And a mixed-greens salad. In other words, you can enjoy a whole meal for just three Lincolns.…