If your idea of relaxation involves three hours amongst fellow foodies, strolling, and discovering the rich history of Palm Springs or the fashion, art and shopping district of Palm Desert, consider indulging your inner-tourist with Desert Tasty Tours.
Kaiser Grille's Slider of Champions: Prime rib, caramelized onion and blue cheese slider on focaccia.
First Stop: Kaiser Grille
Ambiance: Well-appointed art deco and open-concept dining area.
Featured Taste: Prime rib, caramelized onion and blue cheese slider on focaccia.
Foodie Review: This first stop impressed our group with a beautifully presented, upscale bite fit for a sophisticated palate.
Village Pub has more than beers on tap – shrimp tacos make for great pub grub.
Second Stop: Village Pub
Ambiance: The outdoor seating at this downtown mainstay was a fun contrast as we relaxed and sipped a local IPA from Coachella Valley Brewing Company.
Featured Tastes: Local IPA and crispy shrimp tacos prepared Baja style with house made salsa and beans.
Foodie Review: Who doesn’t enjoy a beer mid-day in a relaxed, outdoor setting? The shrimp tacos were a tasty, well-portioned surprise with a fresh presentation. Bonus: the kitchen accommodated a gluten-free preparation for the tacos.
Frozen treats and date shake sampling.
Third Stop: Tutti Frutti
Ambiance: Your basic service-oriented yogurt hangout.
Featured Tastes: We sampled from six flavors of frozen fruit yogurts in addition to a local specialty, the date shake.
Foodie Review: I was sweet on the watermelon and green apple frozen yogurts, and the rich, dulce de leche notes of the date shake were nicely balanced by vanilla non-fat frozen yogurt. A recent addition to this store is a fresh juice bar.
Expanding our palates tasting oils and vinegars at Olive A’Sudden.
Fourth Stop: Olive A’Sudden
Ambiance: We learned about the “walk of stars” beneath our feet and the historical sites of hotels and landmarks we passed.
Featured Tastes: A wide variety of flavored olive oils and infused vinegars were available for tasting.
Foodie Review: I sampled chocolate balsamic vinegar with subtle cocoa notes, and was intrigued by vinegars infused with ginger and jalapeno. The selection of flavored olive oils was impressive and we were each given a small sample of oil or vinegar to take home.
Locally made toffee so addictive you must bring it home from Brandini Toffee.
Fifth Stop: Brandini Toffee
Ambiance: New shop located in the historic Palm Springs Follies building.
Featured Taste: The locally acclaimed chocolate toffee and caramel-toffee popcorn.
Foodie Review: The perfectly balanced, chocolate-to-buttery-toffee ratio of Brandini Toffee will keep you coming back for more. Addictive!
Music to our mouths with the Elton John pizza at Bill’s Pizza.
Sixth Stop: Bill’s Pizza
Ambiance: This restaurant is no-frills, with red and white checked plastic table tops, friendly service and award-winning pizza.
Featured Taste: A slice of award-winning “Elton John” pizza.
Foodie Review: A full slice of cheesy, artichokey, feta-sprinkled goodness seemed almost too much after our day of feasting. However, Bill’s Pizza accommodated my request for a gluten-free crust, and I chowed the crispy, thin-crusted, delight down without a crumb to spare.
Palm Springs Mod deco meets flourless chocolate decadence at Lulu California Bistro.
Seventh Stop: Lulu California Bistro
Ambiance: The lively atmosphere and mod décor were a fitting setting to end a day of “strolling, savoring, and smiling.”
Featured Taste: Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry drizzle.
Foodie Review: A decadently sweet ending of chocolate and raspberry left us with the sweet taste of the day we shared.
Follow Lori on Twitter: @nourishfoodsps
Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services. Her food column will appear weekly on Wednesdays. Have a story idea? You can contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org
Desert Tasty Tours, 800-979-3370, www.DesertTastytours.com