Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs Palm TreesSun, sea, sand and… Palm Springs!

I’ve just returned from a fun-filled family girlie trip to Palm Springs. OK, so there isn’t any sea in the desert, but there was definitely a bountiful of sun, sand, silly behaviour and screwdrivers (cousin Amy’s signature cocktail)!

It was the perfect break with the perfect people – mom, sissy, Aunt D and cousin. We spent an enviable weekend doing what us girls do best: sleeping, shopping, drinking and EATING!

Hilary Clinton CookieIn spite of the surprisingly fierce evening winds, a stomach churning Hillary Clinton cookie (yuk!) and some door “problems” (don’t worry ladies, what happens in the Springs, stays in the Springs!) we survived to tell the tale and are eagerly looking forward to our next trip together.

Thanks to sissy and her remarkable itinerary planning skills, we ate like queens for the entire trip, so here is the lowdown on my fave places to dine out in Palm Springs.

In-N-Out Burger – Los Angeles:

In N Out LA

OK OK, so In-N-Out isn’t in Palm Springs, but it is just outside of LAX airport where mom and I flew in to meet sissy and is where our road trip actually began – so it’s not a complete cheat. In-N-Out is a HUGE American icon and, apart from Dicks, serves up the best hamburgers EVER and therefore deserves an honourable mention in this list!

In N Out LA BurgerI don’t know what it is about In-N-Out Burgers, but the hubby and I can never go anywhere near LA without paying them a visit. Made from 100% pure American beef patties, topped with the freshest ingredients, and served in a deliciously warm toasted bun, the quality is undeniable.

However, during this visit I took mom’s lead and begrudgingly ordered the protein burger, which means missing out on the bread bun for a more figure-friendly lettuce leaf wrap – I figured it was the polite thing to do with my itsy bitsy bikini threatening to make an appearance!

Although rather messy to eat (and I’m not known for my elegant eating skills), I was gob-smackingly surprised at how great my “skinny” burger tasted and felt rather proud of myself – OK, I couldn’t resist the fried onion rings and hand cut french fries and the burger was a double burger, but hey, nobody’s perfect!

Las Casuelas – Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs

Las Casuelas Front

Las Casuelas is the only Mexican restaurant that my late father-in-law would eat at – you have great taste Pat! The architecture, decor and the sounds of the traditional guitarists, who play from table to table, transport you to a magical taverna deep down in Mexico town. It’s the perfect venue if you’re looking for somewhere with spirit – did I mention they make THE BEST Margaritas?! – and the food is overwhelmingly fantástico!

Las Casuelas Terraza Palm SpringsWith creamy guacamole made right at the table and served with an exceptional tomato salsa, us girls made short work of the tortilla chips. When sissy’s Enchiladas and cuz’s Tortilla Soup were served, I could feel a bout of “order envy” start to take hold, but as soon as my Grilled Fish Taco’s arrived, I knew my choice was also a good one – absolutely fish-licious!

Eight4Nine – North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Eight4Nine Restaurant

If you’re looking for somewhere to dine in style, receive impeccable service, eat delicious food, and sneak in some great “people watching”, then Eight4Nine is absolutely the restaurant for you.

We arrived a little early, but were absolutely ravenous so decided to order a charcuterie plate to enjoy with our bottle of bubbly while waiting in the lounge – well it would be rude not to! We knew we were destined for good things when the plate arrived – the flavour of the house smoked chicken was orgasmic!

Eight4Nine Poached Pear SaladFor the main, I ordered the Muscat Pear Salad, sissy had the Roasted Beets AND Mushroom Toast (tee hee!), cousin chose the Seabass, whilst mom opted for the New York Steak. Not one of us were disappointed, with each dish tasting even better than it looked – and the presentation was absolutely beautiful (forgive me for the rather bad photography, it really doesn’t do the salad justice!).

However, the climax of the night (which is a very fitting description!) was most definitely the dessert – the butternut squash bread pudding with bacon and salted caramel sounded amazing. However, our “eye candy” treat of a waiter rather annoyingly advised that the Chocolate S’Mores Fondue would be plenty enough for us all to share, alongside a serving of sissy’s fave Baked Alaska, which was delicately flavoured with lemon and lavender. OMG – with house made ginger marshmallows, luscious strawberries and the most delicious molten chocolate, you need to book your flight and get yours ordered pronto! My mouth has never been so excited, and yes, it was enough to satisfy all of us.

Al Dente – North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Al Dente Front

Last, but certainly not least, is a gem of an Italian restaurant that we came across quite by chance. When we realised our shopping frenzy around the Desert Hills Outlet Mall was never going to be over in time for our dinner reservation, we (and when I say “we”, I actually mean sissy) found ourselves with the arduous task of finding somewhere to accommodate five shopped-out and hungry ladies late on a Sunday night. Well sissy turned up trumps again!

Al Dente Chicken LimoneThis intimate Italian restaurant is absolutely charming and the waitress was extremely friendly and helpful. We were all tempted by the Limone sauce, ordering it with either the chicken or the veal. We all also decided to forego the quoted vegetable side for a serving of spaghetti, in a bid to get in some carbs and replace the energy we’d spent during our very “busy” retail therapy day. The delicate flavour of the lemon sauce combined with the tart kick of green capers in the limone sauce was out of this world – and who could ever say “no” to a helping of fresh house made pasta?!

With a car full of shopping bags, bellies full with pasta, and a screwdriver happy cousin (joking cousin!) our day, and the weekend, was complete. TTFN Palm Springs, until the next time!

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