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Feb 10, 2011 07:22 PM

Off The Beaten Path In Palm Springs

I'm hoping the mods will let this stay here.

There is no dedicated PS boards and it's a regular weekend spot for Los Angelenos... So I figured I'd get the best and truest Chowhound response here.

In any case.

I'm looking for good off the beaten path food in PS. I know they have great dress up places for the overly tan crowd. But I want to eat good food where the people eat.

Anyone have any interesting places? Open to suggestions for all meals, all types of cuisine.

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  1. The Cowboy Way BBQ in Palm Springs for some great ribs, chili and beans. Get the beef ribs. The beans are the best you'll ever have. Low key place with some great BBQ. Owner is supposedly a rancher and cowboy and competitive BBQ and chili cook off entrant.
    The Cowboy Way BBQ, 317 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

    El Galito in Cathedral City for some good down home style Mexican food. Their house made chips are the best you'll ever have. Cash only, closed Sundays.
    68820 Grove Street (just off Palm Canyon Hwy. 111)
    Cathedral City, CA 92234
    (760) 328-7794

    6 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Exactly the kind of answer I'd hoped for! Thank you so much Monku!

      I'd also love some great breakfast places if anyone has some.

      1. re: Jennalynn

        Sherman's Deli in downtown Palm Springs is reliable.

        1. re: monku

          Sherman's is reliably mediocre. For Mexican fare try Pueblo Viejo. Also, on Thursday nights Palm Springs has a street fair with several good food vendors. I particularly liked the Guatamalan one.

          Billy Reeds is a bit old fashioned but is worth the trip.

          I've heard good things about Cheeky's for breakfast. It must be good because every time I tried to go the lines were too long for my impatient significant other.

          Billy Reed's Restaurant
          1800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

          Pueblo Viejo
          3521 Main St, Riverside, CA 92501

          1. re: JohnnyT

            Darn... we'll be there Fri - Sun.

            And I see I was moved. Ah well, nice while it lasted.

            Other near by places are good too... Palm Desert etc. We like mom 'n' pop places with any ethnic foods.

            1. re: JohnnyT

              Billy Reed's was the place 20+ years ago. I haven't been since then, but heard it isn't like it used to be.

              You can't mess up breakfast too bad and I like Sherman's deli omelette and I can get a toasted bagel and my wife and daughter enjoy their California Joe's Special. I only eat breakfast there and it's fine.

            2. re: monku

              I used to love Sherman's but last time I was there it was very disappointing.

        2. City Wok is a pretty good Chinese chain in various location around this area. Look for their half-price specials.

          City Wok
          74970 Country Club Dr Ste 450, Palm Desert, CA 92260

          6 Replies
          1. re: glbtrtr

            I may lose what ever cred I have among my Chinese Food buddies, but City Wok is really pretty good - it's totally gringoized Chinese food but they seem to use good quality ingredients - we've had some pretty decent meals there over the years.


            City Wok
            74970 Country Club Dr Ste 450, Palm Desert, CA 92260

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              I appreciate your input... but Mom's from NYC where Flushing is home to the best Chinese food. I'm in LA, where Monterey Park is only a 15 minute drive. I was there for dim sum this morning.

              So I don't think Chinese will be on our list for Palm Springs. I'm hoping to find the best local food that the area has to offer.

              1. re: Jennalynn

                This is an artificial desert community. Not much local other than date shakes, and even those are not very good either. Don't go to City Wok because it is "Chinese". Go because they put ingredients together and come up with some flavorful combinations. That alone speaks volumes for this area's "local" cuisine.

                City Wok
                74970 Country Club Dr Ste 450, Palm Desert, CA 92260

                1. re: Jennalynn

                  Jennalynn: My parents lived in the Palm Desert area for over 40 years - and in all those years visiting there I don't really feel that we ever found a really good restaurant!!! I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have access to terrific Asian food of all kinds and of all qualities. When I visited my Mom in the desert, probably the single most enjoyable meals I had were at City Wok...

                  City Wok
                  74970 Country Club Dr Ste 450, Palm Desert, CA 92260

                  1. re: RWCFoodie

                    Well... there you go! Maybe we'll give it a try!

                    1. re: Jennalynn

                      We'll be in that area in early March - might have to go just out of sentimentality...

            2. Very good Mexican at Taqueria Tlaquepaque. A little bit of a hole in the wall but worth the trip. Everything is homemade.

              I also recommend breakfast at Elmer's, but be warned they are very very busy on weekends.

              Taqueria Tlaquepaque
              650 E Sunny Dunes Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264

              Elmer's Palm Springs
              1030 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

              7 Replies
              1. re: wienermobile

                I live for good hole in the wall dining.


                1. re: Jennalynn

                  I was just in and around Palm Springs for a week. The SO and I found some decent food in the following places (off the beaten path):

                  Tacqueria Tlaquepaque on E. Sunny Dunes

                  Monsoon (Indian) on Sunrise Way

                  El Mexicali (in Indio) on Indio Blvd

                  El Gallito in nearby Cathedral City

                  Cheeky's is really good but not off of the beaten path

                  Swiss Donut has excellent pecan sticky buns

                  The farmer's markets are great.

                  I will post a full review when time allows.

                  Have fun.

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

                  Tlaquepaque Restaurant
                  120 S Mill St, Santa Paula, CA 93060

                  El Mexicali Restaurant
                  82720 Indio Blvd, Indio, CA 92201

                  1. re: anewton

                    Out of the way in PS--Indio:

                    Chef George's in Bermuda Dunes. 5-9 T-S. Reservations a must. If you don't order half a salad, you'll share it or have it for lunch the next day. Chicken paprikash,goulash, cioppino, etc., will make your tummy happy. All servings are huge. Discounts at 5-6 and 8-9. 6-8 is busy, noisy and just plain fun. Family owned, and they are interested in your having a good time. Hole-in-the-wall find.

                    John Henry is downtown behind the old Jensen's. Great regular dishes. Duck, shrimp, etc. Again, 5-9 M-S. Closed June to ?October. Reservations a must, usually a few weeks in advance. Does that tell you anything? Another hole-in-the-wall wonderful time.

                    Manhattan in the Desert on 111 is a deli alternative to Shermans.

                    John Henry's
                    1785 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

                    Chef George's
                    40100 Washington St, Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203

                    1. re: theOracle

                      Been going to Manhattan in the Desert for years, but I'm wondering if it's been heading downhill or I'm getting bored with the place.

                      Otherwise high marks for their pastries and cakes...they're the largest you'll ever find.
                      Any problems or compliments ask the the Kim the manager...she fixes everything. Believe they opened recently in Temecula.

                      1. re: monku


                        If you're bored at Manhattan, just price the Danish in the bakery case. lol

                        1. re: theOracle

                          I've had their Danish and cakes are actually pretty good too. I always have to get an almond croissant to go. Even though one slice of cake is enough for two people (and they get about $8 a slice) it's extremely moist and they won't tell me how they do it. German Chocolate cake is their best selling cake.

                          There's just something about the food there these days. Believe me I was a big fan of the place.

                        2. re: monku

                          This place is under new management/ownership with redecor. and some lower price adjustments. You were right, monku. Good instincts.

                          Manhattan In the Desert
                          2665 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA

                2. Who goes out to eat in Indio? We do!

                  First, there is a wonderful Santa Barbara BBQ place on Miles in Indio. Family owned and great service. The brisket sandwich at lunch is pulled-beef heaven. The sauce is on the side, and is very good. Tri-tip is their specialty. Casual, street parking.

                  Then, there is the Pueblo Viejo Grill on 111 in Indio near Jefferson. Always have great green corn tamales. Food is very good, and they have bread pudding for desert, no less. A local favorite.

                  Also, there is Lucky's @ Jackalope Ranch on 111. It is the carry-out part of the restaurant, which happens to have a raving happy hour, and you order in advance for award-winning tamales (pork, beef, chicken, green corn) From $2.25 to <$2, depending on the size of the order. You can freeze, refrigerate, heat and eat. They also have Turkey dinners, but pricey. Except for HH, skip the restaurant, which is overpriced and underloved.

                  Jackalope Ranch Restaurant
                  80400 Us Highway 111, Indio, CA

                  Pueblo Viejo Grill
                  81931 US Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: theOracle

                    We've been going to Palm Springs (from Philadelphia) for the Film Festival for the past 7 years. We love Norma's at the Parker for breakfast -- expensive but worth it! The best regular restaurant in PS, in our opinion, is Johannes -- it's not BBQ or ethnic or inexpensive but it's really good food.