Archive for Dining Out

Royal Siam in Joshua Tree

Royal Siam

Monday nights in the high desert can bring a dilemma. For some reason many restaurants up here choose to close that night. I gather this is because most folks don’t eat out that night. Well, we do and we after some back and forth discussion with the other couple we ended up at Royal Siam in Joshua Tree.

Located in a strip mall on the highway it is surprisingly understated and can be easily ignored or forgotten. In fact, it was a very pleasant dining experience with fairly authentic and very tasty Thai food. Reading the menu is an adventure. I’m not sure who translated for the menu writer but it had quite a few misplaced words, for instance instead of chicken breast they offered “chicken breath”. Don’t be discouraged, tho, the food was well worth the deciphering.


Frickleburgers, the first burger joint on our Best Burgers in Palm Springs list, was definitely a hit. Another couple joined us on the quest and we headed down the hill to enjoy a Friday evening on the town. We fed the dogs an early dinner and headed to Yucca Valley to meet up and carpool the remaining hour of the drive.

As we drove along Hwy 111 in Cathedral City we looked for the sign. We had the address but when the vehicle is driving 40 mph you have to look hard to find it. Hubby spotted the sign first and there it was, tucked away in a strip mall, between a Dollar Tree and a taco shop.

A wonderful young man, Geff, greeted us at the door and then made sure we understood how the checklist menu works and made us feel right at home. We had pre-printed our checklists, but he showed us that there were plenty of checklists and pencils at the tables for our use if we needed them. Geff was the definition of customer service and made our experience that much better. We found a table and perused the check list and and began choosing which burgers we would try. And the best part, share. When you have good friends to enjoy the quest with you get to sample more items on the menu without looking like a pig.

The menfolk contemplated The Big Nasty and who would order it.

Menfolk...contemplating The Big Nasty

After ordering they brought us complimentary glasses of cucumber and lemon flavored water. Wow, was that a nice treat! Lightly flavored and very refreshing to sip while we waited for our dinner.

The sides came out first, each with a container of their homemade blue cheese dressing. I don’t much care for blue cheese, but it was light and good.

Finally, our burgers came out one by one.

These were heavy duty, old world burgers. I customized the Fricklburger with cheese, jalapenos, lettuce and chopped bacon. Hubby had the Big Nasty, no bun and a brat and a burger, chilli and cheese. The Giddy Gunter was a chicken schnitzel with a fried egg and mushrooms. The Country Comfort burger included melted cheddar, BBQ sauce, red onion, tomato, shredded iceberg, and an onion ring.

Sectioned off and ready for sharing.

After dividing them up, we decided all were very good, very heavy and we were waddling when we left. After we had to walk around a few stores to walk off some of the food before the long drive home, but definitely worth it. Probably a good thing it is so far away.

We’ll definitely go back. But not until after we try the rest of the places on our list. Be sure to stay tuned!!!

Burger Quest

Several weeks ago hubby and I were driving along and listening to the radio. The Palm Springs DJ was asking listeners to call in and advise on the best burgers in the area. Palm Springs is just about an hour “down the hill” (actually, down two mountain grades) from us. We are considered “high desert” as we are in the mountains and being at sea level they are “low desert”.

Whenever we are down there we debate over where to eat. There are tons of options from $ to $$$$, but not living there we don’t usually hear the good or bad. Now we have a list of places from Palm Springs to La Quinta, which covers the entire “low desert” area.

Hubby shoots xrays at the local hospital and was on call last week. This meant lots of overtime. With all that overtime a flex day was in order, so he unexpectedly has today off. That means a trip down the hill is in order to check out one of the places on our list, Frickleburgers. Maybe a movie after.

I need to print out the checklist so we will be ready to order. Updates to follow :)

Gino’s for dinner…wait, it’s WHERE?

Last Friday we went out to dinner with friends. We’d heard about a new Italian place and, typical of any small town with limited choices, we couldn’t wait to try it out. I texted the directions to the other couple so we could meet there: Just east of Four Corners, it’s in the back of the gas station on the right hand side.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Their response? “Let’s meet at your house and we’ll follow you to the restaurant.” Seems they were a bit confused by the directions and thought I was pulling their leg. But follow us they did. To heaven.

We headed to the back of the Beacon liquor store/gas station, past the display for Kinky Liquor and behind a t-shirt rack. Nestled between beer coolers, there it was. A small, 3-table restaurant.

Ambiance isn't everything.

Hubby liked this view, tho.

The menu wasn’t large, but it had the classics. I’d rather a smaller menu with food done right than a large menu with 30 dishes all using the same sauce. We quickly ordered three dishes off the menu, priced at give or take $10. The fourth choice, the salmon special of the day, was a little higher at $14.95. Its a one man show right now, complete with the requisite authentic Italian accent. Everything is all cooked to order, so plan to wait about 20 minutes for your main course. Don’t worry, tho, there is plenty of crusty bread to nosh on while waiting or you can order an appetizer to enjoy.

Special of the day: Salmon

Pasta Carbonara

Chicken Parmigiana

Spaghettini and Meatballs

We had to try a dessert and the consensus was to try a group favorite, the Tiramisu. It was a piece of heaven. I think I make a pretty good Tiramisu, but mine is nothing compared to this. The ladyfingers were liquor soaked nirvana, the mascarpone filling was light. Coffee was in the background, not overpowering.

The best Tiramisu. EVER.

Gino’s also offers take-out and delivery.

I couldn’t help take advantage of the liquor store while we were there and snagged a bottle of White Chocolate Godiva. I’ve been hunting everywhere for this necessary ingredient in White Chocolate Martinis. (I’ll post about it at a later time.)

And for a special treat...

Santanas for Lunch

It was one of those days where we were going here, there and everywhere. We’d already been to the PX and the Commissary, then home to put groceries away. Now we were headed to Yucca for more errands, but first, a stop at Santana’s for lunch.

The rule of thumb in Southern California is that the worse the place looks, the better the Mexican food. Santana’s doesn’t look as bad as some, but the food is still pretty good. Usually. Thankfully, today it was pretty good. The refries where creamy, the carne asada was moist and tender. And one of my favorites from the salsa bar, the spicy carrots, were top notch. This is the only way I like to eat carrots. Otherwise, they are only good for horse treats.


Food Truck Festival

Saturday in the desert was GORGEOUS. So we hopped in the truck and headed out.

The Spa Casino Resort in downtown Palm Springs was hosting a Food Truck Festival.
Up to 70 Roach Coaches were expected to attend, with all kinds of different foods. They included Italian Ice, Vegan, lots of bacon themed foods, countries from 5 of the 7 continents and tons of desserts.

There was no way we could eat at every truck, although most were tempting. So we each picked out a must have and we shared. This sandwich truck had some exotic sandwiches, but it was the Butter Poached Lobster that won over the guys.

The Sushi truck was also on the must try list.

I picked out the Argentinian truck and went for the 2 for $5 pulled pork sliders.

We had to wait for our food, as the Health Department was doing an inspection. We weren’t the only ones waiting. This poor guy was about to dissolve into a puddle of drool while he waited for his share.

He was rewarded for his wait before we were.
Finally, we received ours. And they were well worth the wait.

We had to make a visit to the truck with the spiciest menu.

The Habanero Chocolate Orange Chicken actually turned out to be the only clunker of the day, resonating with burnt chocolate. There was no kick, no after burn, no warmth. Just burnt chocolate.

Korea was our next to last stop.
I’ve never had Korean BBQ before, and was delighted with the Korean Short Rib Tacos. These were awesome and I’m definitely going to try duplicating. The slaw helped keep it from being too heavy.
And, of course, we grabbed Garlic Fries to munch on our way out.

From the looks of this line as we left, arriving as they opened had been a good idea. It hadn’t been too warm and the lines at the trucks weren’t too bad. These folks, I bet, had a completely different experience.

Parked a few blocks away, we enjoyed the warm sunshine and the Palm Springs atmosphere. We were a tad startled to see this, tho. Someone has a sense of humor.

We meandered by a classic car lot. We tried not to leave any drool spots.Can you pick out our car amidst all these beauties?