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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Palm Springs short trip part III

So, it's a sad day for people my age. One of the actors of our generation is dead today, from a drug overdose, of course. Corey Haim. Back in the day when I first met the Food Pimp, my bestie and I were obsessed with this movie Prayer of the Rollerboys. It starred Corey Haim. And coincidentally, the FP kinda looked like a cross between Corey Haim and Johnny Depp. And the FP is/was the same age as Corey Haim. So farewell, CH, I feel like you were one of my childhood friends.

So, on with the blog. Palm Springs. The place where actors go for r and r. We went to the pub down the street on the way home for some drinks. The closing ceremonies for the Olympics was going on. What a snore! I mean, talk about a tough act to follow. The Chinese Summer Olympics were amazing. But I don't think Canada has the resources to force thousands of kids to practice this one dance number for four years. Anyhoo, there was this actor there. He had quite a mixed entourage. The FP figured he was in Star Wars, but he can't remember who exactly he was.

Anyhoo, we went back to the resort. We wanted to go into the hot tub, but they had masterlocked all the gates, which sucked. They left all the lights on so the steam from the hot tub looked so inviting. So, we just had a glass of wine, and watched tv. And the closing ceremonies were still going on. Ridiculous!

So the next morning, we were thinking about breakfast. And the FP thought we should stay another night, if we could get the same price. So we asked the front desk. They raised it $4, so what the hell, we stayed. That meant we had the whole day ahead of us!

We went to breakfast at the Old Creek House. This is the place we joked about that if the FP's family were there they would be dying to go there. It's like a quaint old stand alone building that looks like an old ranch house with a patio and a waterfall outside. And lots of old people inside. So we walked in, and we were seated by that one token young hyperactive sexually ambigous kid with the jet black dyed hair. He tried to seat us in the dining room, but the smell of maple syrup, moth balls and old people was overwhelming, so I asked if we could sit outside. It was much nicer out there.

So we expected this place to be overpriced, small portions and bad food. Contrarily, it was low prices, with really cheap daily specials, reasonable portions and pretty good food! It's nice sometimes when you're wrong!


The FP had the eggs, homefries and sausage. Nice lookin huevos, crispy skinned breakfast links, well seasoned potatoes - no rosemary, thankfully. Why do a lot of places have to put rosemary on their breakfast potatoes? I hate rosemary!


Pancakes, eggs over easy and bacon. Really good. The pancakes, we found out as we ate them, must have been the ricotta pancakes. They were not very fluffy, but they had this yummy lightness to them.

So the bill was like $13. It was my turn to pay, so I was pretty happy.

So then we drove around. I wanted to drive by the Tahquitz Canyon, which was on the way back to the hotel. We ended up parking, and hiking the canyon, at a pricey $12.50 a person.











So, it was pretty short - a little over an hour, I think. Then we were good and ready to hang out by the pool. It was not as warm as we hoped, but we lay out anyway. I went in the pool, and actually, it was warmer in the pool then out of the pool. But we were there for hours. Then we went to the room. I think I took a long nap. I think the both of us were not really feeling well at all, but we were trying to ignore it. So later on, we got ready to go for dinner. We went really late - like 6pm!

This time, we went to the diner 2 hotels down - Kings Highway. It looked really cool, retro 70s. The hotel was really cool, so we were hoping for a really good dinner, without even looking at the menu.

So we walked in, an a nice looking gay... Austrian? guy in a plaid shirt sat us. Then we noticed all the waiters were wearing plaid and nice looking. The place had a lot of attention to detail, in an unpretentious way.




The place had that cool, yet trying not too hard to be cool vibe. The floor had big naked concrete spots from whatever it had been before that were not covered up. I like that. It had this kind of safari kind of diner kind of feel too. But it all worked. The napkins were like the rags used to polish glasses. The salt and pepper shakers were coleman camping equipment.



And they used old wine bottles as water bottles - which Vega Tapas Cafe does, because the owner went somewhere like San Fran and saw it and adopted it.

And then the menu was in these campy small green school notebooks. The print made it look like they were typed out on a typewriter. Very cool. Very laid back too though. The first page of the menu says, " Whenever we can, we use local, organic,and humanely harvested ingredients, because they taste better. We also serve coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters - they're direct trade, progressive and the best coffee around.

So, they had breakfast. I want to go back again and eat breakfast there. The menu had a mix of mediterranean, local american and classic comfort food in a nice way. It was similar to what the FP or I would come up with in a restaurant like this.

So, I got the openface meatloaf sandwich.

It came with swiss chard and a grilled lemon. So the meatloaf had this north african flavor - it had ras el hanout - which is a spice mixture with stuff like ginger, cardamon, clove, etc. It sounds weird, but it was good. And actually, the grilled lemon was the key to tying it all together. I also got the mac and cheese. The menu is so smart, because they kept the meatloaf at $10, knowing that with one side on it, a lot of people like me would still get another side for $4.50. But it's that freedom to choose which makes it appealing.

I gotta say, the mac and cheese was disappointing. I was expecting it to be wonderful. It was okay. It was strange because the bowl was not hot, but the top was gratineed. So they must have browned it in one container, then scooped it into the bowl, or they just had these cheese crisp circles that they stuck on top of the scooped mac and cheese. So the mac and cheese was just not saucy enough for me. I love a lot of sauce. I am kinda lactose intolerant, so if I'm going to indulge in mac and cheese, I want it to be excessive, because I'm not gonna have it again for a long time. But, the crispy cheese crust was delicious! I could have settled for a plate of crispy cheese crust circles instead of the mac and cheese.


So the FP went all out. Cowboy steak & frites. Yes, steak frites 2 nights in a row. With all these steakhouses, he could not resist the allure of more steak. It was beautifully cooked. And the relish... some minty garlicky mix, I think, was delish. And the fries... hand cut! He was so elated. And boy did he gobble it up! That was some good stick to your ribs rib chop. Just a really really good dinner! We were very happy. We both felt like shit, but we had to have a drink in the bar - the Amigo Room, because we had peeped in it earlier in the day, and it looked so cool. It was like black painted brick with some of those makeup mirror bulb lights. When we walked in, they had just started bingo with Miss Linda. So we sat and ordered drinks, and tried to figure out how to get in on the bingo. All we had to do was get our cards and markers at the bar. Everyone was playing, so we decided it was mandatory that we play too. The guy in the booth next to us won twice. A couple times, we both were very close, but there's always someone closer who wins. Miss Linda was quite the hostess. Between games she would "sing a song", as she used to be a singer/actor. So, from the one visit, I decided that I will give Kings Highway and the Amigo Room a chopstick rating because it deserves a chopstick rating of \/\/\/\/ eight chopsticks - a perfect score - because the crispy cheese topping on the mac and cheese cancelled out the just okay mac and cheese underneath.

So the bingo finished a little after 9, and we went back to the hotel. We went to sleep, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever... which lasted all night long. The next morning we woke up and drove back to San Diego. The vacation was over.

The Old Creek House
1555 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264-8354
(760) 322-3442

Kings Highway and the Amigo Room @ Ace Hotel
701 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 325-9900

5 comments:

Ryan Hogrefe said...

Sounds like you had a nice trip. Yay for you!

The Diligent Diletante said...

i too am a sucker for some nice mac and cheese. i tried to make hubby make me homemade crab mac and cheese- no bueno and disappointing as well. At least you had other yummy food there it sounds like! =)

caninecologne said...

hi fh - cool travel pix.

wonder who the famous actor was. one of my GBF's saw Alexander Skarsgard at DINKS in Palm Springs. that fucker didn't even take a picture of him!

sounds like you guys had a lot of fun during your trip!

loved the pix of the diner...reminds me of pulp fiction! where's samuel l. jackson????

caninecologne said...

by the way, i was saddened by corey haim's death....

loved him in 'the lost boys' and 'lucas'.

rip corey.

the food ho said...

Yay for me, Ryan! Yay for you for reading my blogs!

DD - sucks about the crab mac and cheese... nothing worse than huge expectation and then disappointment. I'd love to open a mac and cheese stand/ fast food joint!

CC - we did have fun, but I'm still paying for it with this horrible cough. I tried to google the actor, but we're just not knowledgeable enough about Star Wars to pin the guy down. If we find out I'll let you know. I should have just gone up to him and asked him who he was!