Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Springs Food Round-Up

As I do with every trip I take- I do my food research. In the case of Palm Springs, I did some internet research and got some advice from friend's who frequent this little piece of snowbird desert paradise (thanks to the Alanas and The Style Guru) for places to go, things to see, where to shop, but most importantly for me...where to eat.

We were staying in a wonderfully quirky-bizarre-art deco-sixties"mid century modern" rental home with a kitchen so we cooked and ate in quite a lot. As a result, I didn't dine at very many of the eateries on my hit list- but I wasn't too disappointed since the delicious and healthy home cooking resulted in some note-worthy meals.

We arrived in Palm Springs after a cancelled flight, an amazingly long wait in the Vancouver airport, and overall a wayyyy longer trip than anticipated. When we got to the house, the first thing I wanted was a beer. Thankfully, there was some in the fridge. Unfortunately, it was American beer. I thought of the up and coming beer cocktail trend and how I enjoy citrus wedges in certain beers. Fortunately, there was a pink and yellow grapefruit tree in the backyard and a juicer. Thus, my delicious cocktail creation was born and became my go to beverage in PS... I give you "The GrapeBud."

Palm Springs Villagefest- Every Thursday night, they shut down car traffic on Palm Canyon Drive for a pedestrian street fair with live music and entertainment and over 200 booths selling art, hand crafted items, and a wide variety of food.

A Delicious Falafel Wrap Dinner

The Viceroy Hotel- Omygod! We went to this beautiful hotel to lounge by the pool and get drinks one evening.   This luxury boutique hotel has an old Hollywood feel done is beautifully modern way- just gorgeous. Our drinks were expensive ($12-13 each) but absolutely delicious. Service was impeccable and we were even brought a basket of delicious foccacia scones with balsamic and olive oil.

Palm Springs Farmer's Market- Every Saturday morning in the parking lot of Camelot Theatres. This market was fairly small compared to Vancouver Farmer's Markets but was still a fun place to people watch and check out local farmers and vendors and the fruits of their labour.

Mary bought green tomatoes and then when we got home she whipped up some fried green tomatoes. This was a totally new food experience for me and not what I was expecting to eat in Palm Springs. She sliced them up, patted them down, dredged them in cornmeal, and fried them in a hot pan with oil. She recommended adding a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce. These were awesome, fresh and juicy on the inside and a light, crispy, slightly oily crusty exterior with a kick of spicy. Yum!

On Friday night, a few of hit the downtown strip for a bit a crawl. We started with microbrew beers and dry ice steaming cocktails at The Falls, before heading to Las Casuelas Terraza, a popular Mexican restaurant with live music. We loved the restaurant- the only downside was the really, really long wait for a table. We put our name on the list before going for drinks and when we came back we still have to wait for 30 minutes. We placed our orders and then danced away the wait until the food arrived at our table. I ordered crispy battered fish tacos served with spicy white beans, salsa de arbol and tartar sauce for $12.95. I did take a photo but it's not quite post-worthy due to intoxication and the rush to eat it because I was extremely hungry. It was delicious and a really fun place.Then we headed off to the karaoke bar before calling it a night.

We spent an afternoon at the overwhelming Cabazon outlets....I don't remember much from this crazy over 130 store experience, but I do remember the delicious round of Date Shakes that Janet bought for us afterwards at the awesome diner-meets grocery store- Hadley's. It was so refreshing and delicious!

More home-cooking: Fellow houseguests Mary (of earlier Fried Green Tomatoes fame) and Janet cooked us an amazing salmon (with lemon, herbs, and capers) dinner on Saturday night.

We spent one day hanging out in Hungtington Beach with some of the Sous Chef's extended family. We all went for lunch downtown by the pier to Wahoo's Fish Tacos. Apparantly, one of their cousin's friends owns Wahoo's and has built up a pretty nice business with a few locations in Southern California. I had a combo platter with two grilled fish tacos, spicy white beans, slaw, and brown rice. This was really nice- fresh, filling, and not too heavy. I LOVED the spicy white beans and the fresh cut side salsa that was soooo full of flavour.



Brioche bun, harissa aioli, fried egg, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts


Garbanzo beans, tomato, lemon, cumin


Avocado, butter lettuce, vine ripe tomato, sprouts, harissa lime aioli, wheat toast


County Line Harvest rucola & crumbled goat cheese


Avocado mayo, roasted tomato, bacon
 One of my absolute favourite meals was dinner at the King's Highway Diner at the Ace Hotel. The Ace restored an old Denny's restaurant that was on the property and turned it into a cool-retro-kitchsy-fun-hip hangout. This isn't Denny's food though- that is for sure. The menu is massive and mouth-watering with an emphasis on fresh, local, organic and artisanal ingredients. At 7pm the place was jam packed for a weekly "Sissy Bingo" night hosted by the one and only singing hostess Linda Gerard. The atmosphere is so fun and high energy and Linda runs this joint with her enormous sunglasses and over-the-top flamboyant style. 
Getting back to the food- my Breakfast ALT was one of the best sandwiches that I've ever eaten. From the buttery, light, slightly sweet brioche bun, to the ooey, gooey egg and rich, soft avocado, to the crispy and salty bacon, to the light crunch of the sprouts and lettuce....this was pretty much sandwich perfection. Everyone else loved their meals and Adam said their fries were the best fries he's even eaten. 

Breakfast ALT close up! AKA "A peek at sandwich heaven"
King's Highway at ACE Hotel & Swim Club on Urbanspoon

Other Recommended Eats/ Experiences that I didn't get to hit up this trip but were highly recommended:
Pappy and Harriets- Awesome BBQ and Bar with some great live music
Native Foods- Vegan Deliciousness
Trina Turk Residential- fun shopping, fashion
El Gallito- Mexican Food (Cathedral City)
Sherman's Deli

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