Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Palm Canyon Drive - Palm Springs

Springs Strip Strut
Hair of the Dog – Do I smell vomit? Get ready to take the plunge because this is quite the dive - definitely a locals’ bar with sideway glances shot at out-of-towners by the likes of us. A friendly bartender with a small town feel that was a bit too small, watched us with interest. One drink here was enough – down the hatch!

Kaiser Grille – It was appropriate that this was named Kaiser because it had all the warmth of a German emperor. I guess that’s a little harsh, but so was their response when we asked to have cocktails at an outside table. The place was empty, but they seemed worried that we weren’t eating (I guess paying $12 a cocktail doesn’t count*), so we promised we’d order an appetizer. We decided on the calamari, which was mediocre, and the other dishes that I saw emerge from the kitchen looked generic and mass produced. Kaiser’s wasn’t even worth stopping in for the drink (and you need permission to even do that).

*I understand not wanting people taking up tables just for drinks, but no one was there! And the dank, swank bar inside was our only other option. No thanks.

Las Caseuelas Terraza – the entire time we were at Kaiser’s we heard peels of laughter, strumming guitars and general sounds of merriment coming from across the street, so we went to check it out and this place was hopping - restaurant, bar, mini-concert - all in one. The live band played outside, packing the patio as a makeshift dance floor while we ordered margaritas the size of my head at the inside bar overlooking a small, dining room. A cocktail waitress roamed around replenishing our drinks, and this was exactly the welcome we were looking for.

Maracas – Americanized Mexican to the 10th degree. I think my order said it all – “Mexi pot stickers”, clearly an authentic dish (and clearly a bad choice on my part) that reminded me of something from the frozen section. Stay safe with the carnitas street tacos - queso fresco, shredded pork and cilantro - or stay even safer and keep walking.

Zin Bistro – On principle alone, I couldn’t go back here (see Zin Bistro review), but damn the menu looked good. I think I saw veal and ricotta meatballs – eep! Next time, I might have to swallow my pride, so I can swallow some of those meatballs.

Though I do have to note that they finally changed their menu from, “squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese” to “Humbolt Fog stuffed squash blossoms,” so that people know that they’re getting the potent, blue-veined strength of Humbolt Fog as opposed to the mild creaminess of chevre (which is usually what we think of [and receive]when ordering “goat cheese”). And with Humbolt Fog being a specialty cheese that’s more expensive, they should want to showcase it anyway.

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