The Unvegan

Recent Posts

WeWork: Unvegan Villain
Feeling Like the Bee’s Knees
Brewing Up a SanTan Brewing Company Burger
Meat Piles at Porkopolis

‘Rancho Mirage’

A Mediterranean Evening at Catalan

A bowl of duck.
A bowl of duck.

The Palm Springs area isn’t exactly known for its culinary prowess. You see, septuagenarians don’t really care how their food tastes as long as they can be done with dinner by 6:00. Nonetheless, there are a few places willing to take some risks and offer unique eats (even if they do sport an early bird special to boot). One of these is Catalan in Rancho Mirage, a Mediterranean restaurant in the sense of the European parts of the Mediterranean at least.

Overly Nutty at Lotus Chinese Restaurant (CLOSED)

Any chicken in there?

For a little dinner break on the way back from Arizona, we stopped in Rancho Mirage to hit up the grandparents for a meal. They thought Chinese food sounded good, so we headed to Lotus Chinese Restaurant to see what they had to offer. The place was pretty full when we arrived, so I assumed it must be pretty good despite being in the middle of a desert. We grabbed our seats and got a look at the menu, which was pretty typical American Chinese fare.

Being Seasonal at Mimi’s Cafe (CLOSED)

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Brie-tacular.

EDIT: This Mimi’s is gone, but not forgotten. Also, there are other Mimi’s that can drop you an early bird special.

Recently I paid a visit to the desert, aka Rancho Mirage, to visit my grandparents. For dinner one night we headed to Mimi’s Cafe, which is apparently a chain that I had never heard of and was very appropriate for a meal with the grandparents. This was all new to me, though, so I was excited to see an entirely new menu of good food. It was obviously prepared with the health-conscious in mind, since it had its own little healthy section. Some of this section was even unvegan, but I was not in the mood for health. Instead, I found my way to their seasonal menu and their Brie Chicken.

Two for One at The Right Bank

Ewww orange veggies.
Ewww orange veggies.

For my last meal in Rancho Mirage, I headed to The Right Bank. Why it isn’t called the Left Bank boggles my mind, but at least it isn’t called the West Bank.

As I sat down and looked at the menu, I couldn’t get over how expensive the place was, but then my grandparents revealed to me that just about ever night they offer buy one get one free for entrees. This was a pretty good deal, so I didn’t feel so terrible about ordering something decent.

The Appropriately Named Thai Smile (RELOCATED)

It would look much better if it weren't for those vegetables.
It would look much better if it weren’t for those vegetables.

One of the nights that I was visiting my grandparents in Rancho Mirage, we went to a restaurant called Thai Smile. There was a 20 minute wait, but I was assured that it would be worth it. Besides, I really had nothing better to do.

While waiting, we checked out the menu so we could order as soon as we got our table. It really took me a long time to decide what to order because the Chicken Spicy Peanut Sauce looked great except that it had green beans and peppers, while I could just create my own dish, but none of the customizable items looked as good as the chicken dish.

A Wholesome Breakfast at Palms Cafe

Looks good enough to eat.
Looks good enough to eat.

While visiting my grandparents in Rancho Mirage, they took me to a great little breakfast place called Palms Cafe in Palm Desert. Knowing my grandparents would never lead me astray, I was pretty excited.

We took a seat outside and perused the menu. As most cafes go, they had a pretty good collection of food, but I sought out my favorite breakfast food, the omelet. Since I don’t think I had ever seen turkey offered in an omelet before, I ordered one with turkey and cheese. I also got some bacon on the side.

It came out pretty quickly and was one of the most interesting omelets I’ve ever seen.

Piero’s Acqua Pazza (CLOSED)

That steak's got balls...of mashed potatoes.
That steak’s got balls…of mashed potatoes.

It seems that the only three things to do in The Desert are swim, golf and eat. This is by no means a bad thing, as there is no shortage of good restaurants.

With my father and two grandparents, I went to Piero’s Acqua Pazza, an Italian-ish restaurant. I say “-ish” because they offer much more than traditional Italian food. The night I was there, they had a three-course special, which included a starter, main course and dessert. The price was unbeatable because it included the filet mignon, which actually cost more on the regular menu without the other courses. A true meat-loving family, we all wanted the filet. After making that choice, I checked out the starters, which to my behest, only included vegetable dishes. I scoffed at this and decided it was still worth the three-course meal.

There was still one last hoop to jump through, the filet came with a side of mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley.