Inexpensive Eats in Palm Springs
Best friend and I are getting together for some relaxation in late October for 8 days. Since we do have a full kitchen in our room, we will try to at least make breakfast some of the mornings, but that's probably it since we both don't like to (and can't really) cook.
I'm looking for recommendations for less expensive eateries: breakfast - $5-$7 for the meal; lunch - $7-$10 for the entree; and dinner $10-$14 for the entree; definitely $40 or less a day! As an example, I'm thinking of something like biscuits and gravy or belgian waffle for breakfast, deli sandwich or burger for lunch, and pasta or large salad for dinner, but I'm looking for a nice and friendly atmosphere, clean, and interesting (have a gimmick, local history, etc.). We're open to ethnic restaurants, but we are from San Francisco, where there are more than enough authentic ethnic eateries.
I'm looking for non-chain restaurant, although I am open to local chains. We don't drink alcohol, so beer and wine selection is not important... and want to avoid places that might look down on us for not ordering expensive alcohol...although I doubt that will happen in the restaurants I'm aiming for. :-)
I think I'll need 4 breakfast places, 7 lunch places, and 7 dinner places. We might be able to splurge and have two nice dinners. I get the feeling that Johannes and Blend are going to be too expensive for us... does anyone know how Zin compares in price? Any comments about dress code at the fancier restaurants? Sometimes I'll dress up to go to a really nice restaurant and half the patrons are wearing jeans! I don't really want to pack a dress or slacks (which means I have to bring another pair of shoes) if I don't have to.
if you are really into italian, strongly suggest you try Villa Abatte at the corner of 111 and Frank Sinatra in rancho mirage. wife and i tried it for the first time friday evening. it is a large restaurant, but very personally run by a husband and wife team. they both are very visible and you can tell that the staff gets their lead from the owners.
they have a prixe fixe special for $24 which we both had. several good choices. wife had a salad, i had some of the best pasta e fagioli soup that i have EVER had. i had a very tasty chicken parmiagiana, wife had spectacular whitefish in a lemon-garlic sauce. we shared an appetizer called "arancini", which is a rice ball filled with a mixture of tomato, beef, peas and tomato sauce. delicious, i've never even heard of it before. owner (wife) explained that all of the recipes were brought to america by two sicilian grandmothers and some are a bit different. they have a full bar and a nice wine list. check it out!
Villa Abbate Ristorante Italiano
69-820 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage
Thanks. OK Zin will be one of our nice restaurants... will need one more. We're staying at the Westin in Rancho Mirage, so I'll check out the market... "won't require prep" is definitely appealing. Roy's is also in SF, so I'll pass, as well as CPK, but I think we'll try Romitti. I do love Italian food, so if there are other Italian restaurants, especially those family-owned ones w/large portions, let me know!
Ruby's is totally my type of food, so I'll put that on the list. Thanks.
Definitely check out Jensen's Fine Food Market if you have a kitchen - they'll have some nice takeaway that won't require prep. If you are further up Country Club towards Palm Desert, Bristol Farms is awesome for the same thing.
Don;t know where you're from, but if you don't have a Ruby's in your neck of the woods, there's one on Palm Canyon for burgers, shakes, salads, etc. Same for California Pizza Kitchen & Roy's prix fix meal is a great deal in Rancho Mirage. For inexpensive homestyle Italian, I also like Romitti's in Palm Desert. China Wok is good in PD - there may be one in PSP.
Definitely don't worry about dressing up EVER in Palm Springs. I've been to the nicest restaurants there, and I invariably see people in summer dresses and shorts and Tommy Bahama flowery shirts and sandals there.
Zin is less expensive than the others, and very quaint and pleasant - and very casual. There is a great Mexican restaurant called El Gallito in Cathedral City, and it is cheap and good! We also enjoy Manhattan in the Desert for deli. If you venture farther out into Palm Desert, stop by the River and go to Aquatic something or other. They have fairly inexpensive entrees, too.