I finally realized that with the upgrade to Snow Leopard, my HP all-in-one printer can actually scan again! Before, I could only print from my mac, which makes the all-in-one more of a one-in-one, but thankfully, support has been added for scanning. The scanner’s not great, as you can see, but hey, it’s better than nothing. Plus, it gives fitting lo-fi look to the prints, no?
When visiting a smallish resort town, as Palm Springs is, I lower my expectations about food. Unless there’s a specifically good restaurant, I try not to be critical about what I put into my mouth. I go into “eat to live” instead of “live to eat” mode. Or at I least try to.
So for breakfast, the BF and I found ourselves trekking the 1.2 miles from our hotel to Palm Greens Cafe because it was one of the few places that had decent-sounding vegetarian (and vegan) breakfast options.
Palm Greens Cafe is tucked away in a strip mall next to a thrift store, a night club and a used book reseller. It’s easy to miss if you’re in a car, but we spotted it as we walked down the street. The smallish cafe has a handful of small tables and a sign telling customers to order at the counter — all what I expected.
After perusing the breakfast menu, which had things like breakfast burritos, breakfast bowls, various pan cakes, all the typical veggie-breakfast stuff, I settled down on a boring egg sandwich with a side of vegetarian apple sausage. The simpler it was, the better because that meant less room for mistakes. The BF ordered buckwheat pancakes with tofu scramble and a date shake.
When my sandwich came, I realized that all it contained were two eggs over-easy between “focaccia” bread. The focaccia was unlike any that I’ve had before, not in a good way. It didn’t have enough oil on it and was just too dry and the crumb structure was all wrong — but I digress. I asked for some tomatoes and onions and the waitress gladly brought it out to accompany my barren sandwich. The egg sandwich wasn’t bad, but just very average. At least the eggs were nice and runny. The sausage was below average mostly because it was lukewarm and I would have preferred it a little more grilled.
Although we both had lowered expectations about the food, we still left feeling “meh” about what we ate. Palm Greens Cafe wasn’t bad for Palm Springs, but if it were in LA, where there are much better tofu scrambles (and that’s not even saying much) and egg sandwiches, it would be a different story. It makes me sad that the cafe touts itself as serving natural food that’s “naturally good for you” but the food is so mediocre. I don’t want people to think that healthy food should taste so bland and unexciting!
The best thing that came out of the breakfast excursion was that I found The Diamond Age for $2 at the thrift store!
Palm Greens Cafe
611 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
King’s Highway, the restaurant in the same building as the Ace Hotel lobby/check-in area, is what I pictured a diner in the 70s to look like, maybe a bit hipper. Likewise, the food is a hipper version of 70s diner food.
Upon sitting down, an interestingly dressed older woman with fantastic glasses plopped down a small jar of pickles. She quickly gave me a look and muttered, “Here are the pickles, that’s all you’re getting, it comes with your dinner” or something to that effect. I noticed she said the same thing to other people who sat down after us.
The pickles were intensely sour with an over-whelming taste of vinegar and a nice piquant bite to it. What I thought were slices of ginger turned out to be thin slices of potato. I’ve never had pickled potatoes before, but these made me a fan.
The menu doesn’t have many vegan options — I think the BF ordered about everything there was that he could eat. We started with the couscous salad with meyer lemon dressing. The dressing didn’t really taste like meyer lemon but actually reminded me of some sort of bottled Italian dressing. The pistachios in the salad were probably the best thing about this salad.
Next came the white bean dip with pita chips. The dip was decent, had a hint of spice, and the chips were crispy. It wasn’t exciting or fantastic, but solid.
I had the stinky grilled cheese sandwich with bacon (extra) which was pretty much what I expected. The stinky cheese wasn’t terribly stinky, unfortunately. It was better than plain ol’ American cheddar cheese, but certainly not anything to write home about. I did appreciate the basil in the sandwich, which gave it another dimension. The bread part was greasier than I’d like, but that could have been solved if it had cooked longer on the pan and got more crispy. As it was, one side was already soft and soggy by the time I took a bite.
There was some confusion with the waitress about the vegan-ness of the vegetable pot pie. She claimed it was vegan and I thought it was too good to be true that a place like King’s Highway would have vegan pot pie. Even after we asked her twice before ordering, it turned out that there’s butter in the crust and it’s not vegan after-all. In the end, the BF got the vegetarian chili sans corn bread. It was unexciting and had mushy, overdone vegetables, but at least the waitress was nice enough to comp it because of the mix-up.
We weren’t expecting anything too fantastic from a hotel restaurant and our expectations were met. As a whole, we didn’t have our hopes too high for good food in Palm Springs, which was good. The food at King’s Highway was decent — for a hotel kitchen. I stayed away from ordering anything from the “dinner only” section of the menu because the dishes were so expensive there and I wasn’t sure if the place was up to snuff. A wise choice.
King’s Highway @ ACE Hotel
701 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264