Cool Sweetness at Lappert's!

on .

By Denise Ortuno                                                                                rsz date shake

A chilled out way to get some cool tasty relief from the desert summertime heat, is with a refreshingly cold sweet treat from Lappert’s Ice Cream & Dole Whip.

The last thing that I need to do is to tell you that it’s hot outside. Anyone who lives in, or has visited the Coachella Valley in the summer months should know well enough of what to expect here from June through September….a whole lot of sunshine and toasty high temps. But there are so many ways to combat, and even make summertime fun in the desert, that it almost makes this time of year something to look forward to.

To cool down, you could take a chill dip in a pool, shop at the air-conditioned indoor mall, ice skate, or do something that will make your taste buds want to throw on a coat, and have some icy cold deliciousness from Lappert’s Ice Cream & Dole Whip. The Hawaiian themed ice cream shop has been delighting their customers for many summers, in Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

Owner Joe Genua, who has just recently taken over the Palm Desert store and also has Jus Chillin in Palm Springs, enjoys giving a little Hawaiian cool sweetness to the desert. Lappert’s Ice Cream started back in 1983, by founder Walter Lappert, who wanted to expand on his little ice cream shop in Northern California, and make/sell ice cream in Kauai. Lappert did exactly that, and visitors can still visit his original factory on the island.

His concept was brought back the mainland, with his son Michael Lappert, who opened up a factory in Richmond California, broadening the reach of their scrumptious hand crafted ice cream. One aspect of their ice cream that enhances the creaminess is the high fat content, which elevates the ice cream to a different level. The stores rotate over 100 flavors, such as Banana Cream Pie (fresh banana’s, buttery pie crust pieces), Rum Raisin (dark rum soaked raisins, light rum sweet cream), and Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl, plus many, many more, bringing the most innovative tastes to their customers.  

Besides their ultra-creamy ice cream, Lappert’s also features the Dole Plantations creation, Dole Whip, made famous by Disneyland’s Tiki Hut. The Dole Whip comes in a soft serve form, and is vegan, as well as dairy, fat and gluten free. One spoon full of the Pineapple Whip, and you are quickly whisked away to a Hawaiian island, the tropical breeze swirling around you with a burst of sweet pineapple dancing on your tongue. It’s freakishly refreshing. The Whips come in other flavors such as Raspberry, Orange and Mango, but it is clear that the Pineapple option is the headliner. A parade of toppings are available to dress up the Whips. However, for true octane, go for the Dole Whip Float, where the whip is immersed in fresh pineapple juice topped with whipped cream and a wafer. Sweet fruit overload!

Lappert’s also offer’s other chilly treats including Shaved Ice in fun flavors including Watermelon, Lime, Root beer, Grape, Cherry , plus Shakes (try their phenomenal Date Shake with Coachella Valley Dates), Smoothies and Sundaes. You can give those high summer temps the big freeze in a variety of ways at Lappert’s.

Genua looks forward to making some upgrades to the Palm Desert shop. In the coming months customers will enjoy extended full-service, more non-dairy options, an amped up Hawaiian vibe and a special Acai and Pitaya scoop-able, super-fruit sweet. 

Whether the weather outside is super-hot, cold or just right, having a cool treat from Lappert’s Ice Cream & Dole Whip is a tasty pleasure all year round. A fave of The Palm Springs Local!

Lappert’s Ice Cream & Dole Whip is located at 78-206 Ste. G Varner Road, Palm Desert and at 130 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs-

More Than Drinks at Dringk!

on .

By Denise Ortuno                                                                                     rsz imag2515                                               

More than just reasonably priced drinks, the whimsical playful spot also has a  tasty menu that won’t stretch your funds, making Dringk Eatery + Bar in Rancho Mirage the place to be.

You might do a double take when entering Dringk Eatery + Bar at The River in Rancho Mirage, “Wasn’t this Fox & Fiddle a minute a go?” could be a question that would run through your mind. The answer would yes, it was the former pub style restaurant not so long ago. Owner Kurt Gardner opened the former restaurant in February of 2017, and after seeing that the pub concept hadn’t grabbed the attention as he had hoped for, he decided to switch gears.

Gardner’s new concept Dringk, is all his own and doesn’t have the restrictions that the franchise of Fox & Fiddle had, allowing him to run free with his creativity. Dringk (the phonetic pronunciation of Drink) has a laid back, adult playground feel, complete with hanging chairs, longer than long couches, a pool table, shuffleboard, dart board, Pac Man, Jenga blocks and more, highlighted with spiraled white Twizzler looking ceiling décor.

Besides the aesthetic change to the restaurant and bar, is the seemingly perpetual happy hour type price point that they have adopted, with a variety of well drinks and house wines priced at only $5, domestic beers at $4, and imports at $5. Martinis can cost a couple of dollars more, as well as if you want to upgrade to a call brand, but even they are reasonably priced. Their food prices mirror their drinks, with small plates starting at $5, and other menu items topping out at $15 (only a couple of dinner items are $20). This new concept has been working for Gardner, “It has been very well received” he said. The hangout has become a place for late night enjoyment, where D.J music is played on Friday and Saturday nights (soon to be added for Wednesday’s Industry Night), as well as Karaoke on Tuesday nights. This kind of late night entertainment is a welcome addition to the somewhat sparse selections that this part of the desert offers.

I was interested in trying out some of the menu items at Dringk, and went for some that I had pre-selected from their website. I brought my dear friend Jennifer Gary along to assist me. We started with the Brussel Sprouts (crispy fried with balsamic, grilled lemon, chili flakes and chipotle aioli). The sprouts were extra crispy, just the way that I like them, and the balsamic added just enough sweetness to balance off the natural bitterness of the sprouts, with the chipotle aioli giving the dish a spicy creamy component. Delish!

Next I selected the Truffle Mac & Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, truffle oil, optional bacon, and bread crumbs) for me, and she went for the battered Fried Zucchini & Dill Ranch and the Grilled Onion Hummus & Pita. As a mac & cheese freak, I had to try it, and was not disappointed by its overt gooey cheesiness. It was thick and smooth, as the cheese clung to my fork leaving long ribbons of it bridging from the bowl, with generous meaty pieces of bacon, it’s this cheese lover’s new bestie! Jen enjoyed the lightly battered Fried Zucchini, and the Grilled Onion Hummus dish had dense flavors, leaving a delightful memory on the palette. As it was in the middle of the day, we did not indulge in any “adult” beverages, but if we had, I probably would have gone for a Lavender Vodka Lemonade or Jalapeno Margarita, both only $5 each.

Dringk food menu extends from appetizers to sandwiches and burgers, flatbreads, to salads, soups and full dinner entrees, all reasonably priced. The spot is opened from 3pm to 1am Monday through Wednesday, and 11am to 1am or later the rest of the week (until midnight on Sundays).

We all need a place to unwind, without high prices and restricted ambience. Dringk Eatery + Bar provides some not so serious adult fun, where you can just chill out with friends and have some laughs, great food and drinks and still have some money in your pocket at the end of the night. The Palm Springs Local will cheer to that!

Dringk Eatery + Bar is located at 71-800 Ste 101, Hwy 111 Rancho Mirage, 92270, 760-888-0111

Whole Foods 2nd Annual Pre-Fest Beer Garden

on .

By Denise Ortuno                                                                               rsz beergarden2018 flyer

Whole Foods Palm Desert will help kick off the Coachella Fest season with their 2nd Annual Pre-Fest Beer Garden on Thursday, April 12th 2018. The event will get the music fest party started with fabulous beer, food and music, all in a relaxed environment.

Since opening in 2014, Whole Foods Palm Desert has been a welcomed addition to the Coachella Valley specialty market scene, providing the valley with the best in healthy food options. This year’s Pre-Fest Beer Garden, will mark the stores second entry into taking part in Coachella Fest fun. The idea was originally sparked by the Whole Foods venue team and Stone Brewery Rep, Damaris Rojas, who were thinking of ways for the high profile store to get involved with festival events, while engaging with the community. The idea was quickly supported and enthusiastically executed by Metro Marketing Team Leader, Christy Jeziorski, who has a background in event production, “I appreciated the crew entrusting me with the responsibility, it definitely gives me life to create experiences for others to enjoy” said Jeziorski.

The Pre-Fest Beer Garden will be located in their outdoor patio area from 4pm to 10pm, and will welcome festival goers, locals and visitors alike. Beer garden guests will be able to enjoy a variety of beer, food and music in an inviting, casual setting, “The beer garden promises to be bigger than last year’s event,” says Jeziorski. “For a small admission fee, we’re offering an impressive variety of craft beers and food, a stellar musical lineup, and an atmosphere that’s more chill and ‘come as you are’ than ‘who do you know?’ Consider it a Coachella welcome reception.”

Event vendors include, a pop-up taqueria, Capello’s Pizza, Siete, Sierra Nevada, Coronado, Thorn, Stone, Hangar 24, Uinta, Boochcraft, BuzzBox and many more!

The music lineup is equally impressive with The Flusters, Maui based Reggae, Inna Vision, Coachella Valley’s own Giselle Woo & The Night Owls and DJ Journee (Stronghold Reggae) performing.

Admission to the 21 and older event is $5 and includes a tasting cup. Additional food and beverages may be purchased from Whole Foods Tap-In Taproom, to be consumed in the Beer Garden. No outside food or beverage is allowed.

The Whole Foods Palm Desert 2nd Annual Pre-Fest Beer Garden is a great way to get the Coachella Valley music fest party started with fantastic beer, food and music.

Whole Foods Palm Desert is located at 44-459 Town Center Way, Palm Desert

For more information visit


Date Festival, Fun for Everyone!

on .

By Denise Ortuno                                                                            rsz riversidecountyfairdatefestival 0fe44d85

If you’re looking for a fun event for the whole family, you must check out The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival in Indio. This year, the fair will be celebrating its 72th year and runs from February 16th, thru February 25th 2018. The event encompasses a down home feel, complete with everything that you might have found in a county fair in the old days…and a whole lot more.

I recall going to the fair when I was a pre-teen. My sister’s friend’s parents owned an empty lot across the street from the fair that they would charge fair-goers to park in. We would hang out there for a while, then cross the street to attend the Date Festival. It has grown in many ways since then, but has still retained the essence of its core, as a small town fair, that has now grown up.

The Date Festivals purpose is to celebrate the harvest of the Date Palm. The fair started out slowly in the 1920’s, and then years later, Riverside County took over the reins and purchased the grounds that the festival takes place on this very day. The fair grew from there. The Coachella Valley is a mammoth producer of dates, providing almost 100% of the sweet fruit to our nation. So a large scale fair to give the little fruit props, is more than appropriate.

The fair, while agriculturally based, has adopted many diverse kinds of entertainment. It has everything that you would want from a fair, from thousands of exhibits, to high profile performances, a petting zoo, food frenzy’s, and of course, great rides! The Date Festival is reasonably priced for general admission at only $11, with special pricing for seniors and children.

This year, musical performances include, funktified WAR on Friday, February 16th, country music star Chase Rice on Saturday, February 17th, norteno band Los Rienleros del Norte on Sunday, February 18th, and formerly from Foreigner, Lou Gramm on Saturday, February 24th. The Super Fiesta rounds out the entertainment on Sunday, February 25th, with Los Tequileros de Ramon Jimenez, Banda Pachuco and Carmen Jara. One of the best parts is that you don’t have to pay extra for the entertainment, as it is included in the price of admittance to the fair.

On top of musical acts, the festivals most popular attractions include Camel and Ostrich races, and the ever exciting Monster Trucks and a Demolition Derby.

And if you have never taken a ride on a Camel, I highly suggest it, if just to say that you did. You will love those big eyes staring at you, not to mention the photo op. I rode one years ago when I filmed my TV show Coachella Valley This Week at the fair and I loved it!

The food is really something to experience too. I mean, there’s some serious fair food there. It is the first place that I ever tried a Fried Twinkie...and it was everything that they said it would be. Delish! Also the word is, is that there will be many vendors getting creative with the date itself, introducing new ways to consume the superfood.

The Riverside County Date Festival is fun for the whole family, or just the two of you, or with a group of friends. With a true county fair flare, and all that goes along with it, The Date Festival remains one of the most anticipated and regarded events in the Coachella Valley and an absolute favorite of the Palm Springs Local. Don’t miss it!!

For more information and tickets visit


Big Flavor at Bobs Twin Kitchen

on .

By Denise Ortuno                                                                 rsz 1imag2157

There's big flavor, with a Mexican twist, and super friendly service, that flows from Bob’s Twin Kitchen in Indio.

This funky joint off Jackson in Indio has been providing hearty menu items to their seriously satisfied customers for almost 40 years. If you’ve driven by the Indio DMV, you might have seen the red roofed spot not far from it, which cranks some awesome food.

The restaurant was started back in 1978 by Bob Kiel, in a different location, across the street from what is now the Larson Justice Center. But shortly thereafter, Bob moved his restaurant to its current home on Jackson. Current owners Francisco and Javier Jauregui, were there with Kiel from almost the beginning, working in the kitchen as teenagers. The brothers eventually bought the restaurant from Kiel in 1994 when he retired, adding some of their own Mexican style specialties to the already popular menu.

When I asked Francisco why Bob added twin kitchen to the name of the restaurant, he explained that Bob had a twin…makes sense. The Jauregui brothers have continued the restaurants great success with homemade recipes, since they took it over 23 years ago. There is a clear sense of loyalty to the spot from their customers, “Kids that I used to go to school with that would come here, are now bringing their kids and grandchildren here…3 generations”, said Francisco.

When you bite into one of their items at Bob’s, you will no doubt understand part of what nourishes that loyalty. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are many items on the menu to choose from. Breakfast offers up classic pancakes, omelets, Chorizo an Eggs, Huevos Rancheros and robust Breakfast Burritos. For lunch and dinner, selections abound. Appetizers are offered including Nachos, Avocado Fries, Quesadilla’s, Asada Fries, and one of their most popular items, their Taquitos Deluxe topped with a creamy avocado sauce, lettuce and cheese. Other items cross over from lunch to dinner, such as their burgers (Bob’s Healy Burger seems to be a thing), sandwiches, salads, and an array of combo’s. They also have a weekend special of Menudo on Saturdays and Sundays.

On my trip to Bob’s, I went for the burrito combo that I’ve had there many times before. Their Bob’s Big Burrito Combo, with your choice of Asada Carnitas, Chicken, or succulent Shredded Beef, onion, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauce, sour cream, beans and rice, is incredible! It comes with a generous amount of fries, and a 32 oz drink for only $9.89. It is a bountiful deal!

With Bob’s menu, you really have to read it carefully, as not to miss any of the goodies that they have on it. Like their Extra’s category with Chile Rellenos, Bacon side, and Enchiladas among other items. They also are the place to go for over the top deliciously creamy shakes. Their Date and Banana flavors rank high on the tasty scale, made with real vanilla ice cream.

The restaurant’s menu is moderately priced, has cozy indoor and outdoor seating, a drive thru and even delivers to Indio and select parts of La Quinta and Coachella.

Bob’s Twin Kitchen is one of the valleys longest standing restaurants. Giving our desert community comfort food goodness, with a friendly neighborhood feel. A definite favorite of The Palm Springs Local!

Bob’s Twin Kitchen is located at 44-325 Jackson St. Indio Ca 92201

Call 760-347-2567 for take-out or delivery.










Lock full review 888 Bookmaker