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six days and nights in Palm Springs: where to eat with two kids, grandparents, and Uncle Dave

m
mlevine Dec 20, 2010 08:09 PM

We're 5 adults and two kids ( 10 and 13) from NYC who are good eaters and can handle something casual nice, just not too fancy/uptight or crazy expensive (would like to keep entrees under $20). We can find the cheap eats (burgers, Mexican) for lunch but need some recs for dinner, including a place on the evening of Christmas Day. Thanks

  1. a
    amydeastbay Dec 22, 2010 01:02 PM

    We were in Palm Springs over Thanksgiving weekend, and I'd suggest trying Kings Highway at the Ace Hotel. The setting was casual and the food was fresh and flavorful; in particular, I thought the beet and fennel salad was both tasty and well presented. Menu prices are in line with what you want, and the food should suit a range of ages and tastes.

    I live in the Bay Area and eat in SF regularly (I know NYC, too) and found that Palm Springs restaurants claim to be creative and to offer seasonal food, but what arrives on the plate is dated and oblivious to the seasons. The lists of wines by the glass that I saw were so shockingly limited it was hard to remember we were still in California.

    Johannes, which is mentioned frequently on this board was okay, but its strength was in the heavier dishes, such as the schnitzel and roast duck with braised red cabbage. Not what I would want in desert heat, although it was unusually cool during our visit.

    The only other place I would recommend wholeheartedly is Cheeky's, which is open for breakfast and lunch only. It stood out so much from the rest that we went there for two lunches and a breakfast in four days. We also ran into the Cheeky's staff when we ate dinner at the Ace.

    One place I would not recommend is Trio. It was included in a list of best new restaurants in Palm Springs but was hugely disappointing in terms of both food and service. The food was passable only if you ordered carefully (I judge restaurants by both what I eat and what I see others eating).

    1 Reply
    1. re: amydeastbay
      Chowpatty Jan 6, 2011 06:48 PM

      You called it, Amy. King's Highway and Cheeky's are the only restaurants of any real quality that aren't overpriced "continental" fare. Tyler's burgers is not bad, Matchbox Pizza is serviceable with a good happy happy hour and convenient location. The owner's of Cheeky's are opening a pizza place next door later in January which should be a huge step ahead.

    2. m
      Maggie19 Dec 21, 2010 10:07 AM

      Burgers and the best potato salad -- Tyler's downtown PS
      Mex - El Gallito Cat City
      Dinners under $20 -- Fisherman's Market & Grill - Matchbox - Cowboy Way (BBQ) all in PS..
      Christmas ... it appears that Johannes is open - that's where I head. Sit in the bar - likely lower prices....

      -----
      El Gallito Restaurant
      68820 Grove St, Cathedral City, CA 92234

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