By Denise Ortuno Neil
Brunch at Louise’s Pantry is a delicious way to start off the New Year! The Coachella Valley prized mainstay eatery has been synonymous with crazy good comfort food since the 1940’s. With two convenient locations, desert residents and visitors can enjoy excellent breakfast and lunch items, as well as their fabulous Sunday Brunch selections complete with refreshing mimosas.
I remember going to the original Louise’s Pantry when I first moved to the desert as a kid in the late 70’s. Located next to the historic La Plaza Theater, the restaurant was part of the golden history of the La Plaza Shopping Center. I recall the old school lunch counter that was an integral part of the place. Enticing pies lined the refrigerated shelves, and there was an undeniable nostalgic feel that sat heavy in the air.
Although the restaurant eventually abandoned its original location, it has never lost its appeal despite its relocation to the eastern part of the Coachella Valley. After a brief stay off of Town Center Way in Palm Desert years and years ago, the Louise’s Pantry recipe for success has now settled in La Quinta off of Washington, and on Hwy 111 in Palm Desert (the old Tony Roma’s building).
On a recent visit, we decided to go during Sunday Brunch at their La Quinta location. We had heard that they made ample mimosas, and come to find out, that was no tall tale. We arrived around 11:30am, and were met with a line of likeminded hungry guests with Brunch on the brain.
Their La Quinta spot is directly across from St. Assisi Church, and draws a bountiful crowd from the gorgeous Catholic Church (also makes for a beautiful view from the restaurant).
After putting in our name with the hostess, we went back outside to wait. Then, out of nowhere (not really) a friendly server appeared, generously offering complimentary mimosas (for those of age)! The kind gesture is a welcome gift for those waiting for a table. I must say, with fresh squeezed orange juice and chilled bubbly, it made the wait not only go by fast, but even made it enjoyable.
Needless to say, we were off to a festive start. Our wait wasn’t long at all, and again, if it was, we didn’t notice. We were seated and then greeted by our jovial server Jerrod. He was very informative and helped us to navigate through the menu. There was so much to choose from, it was hard to focus. However, I ended up forgoing the standard menu, and went for the one of Brunch Specials that was on the board.
The special that captivated me was their Southwest Eggs Benedict. The traditional dish was turned up with a Green Chili creamy Hollandaise, over beautifully poached eggs. Underneath the pillow-ish eggs was some of the best Chorizo that I have ever had. All the star ingredients were cradled lovingly by two cheese filled Pupusas (filled corn tortillas), and accompanied by hash browns.
It was AMAZING!! I cherished every bite, and before I knew it, my plate was clean. My boyfriend went for one of their popular breakfast items, their Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs with Gravy. The dish is a diner regular, and high up in the comfort food chain of command. It is not chicken at all (just in case you didn’t know), as the description might suggest, but rather tenderized cubed steak, battered like chicken and fried. It is then smothered with homemade gravy, with a side of eggs cooked to order, country potatoes and toast. It also was delish!!
We washed down are delectable dishes with more of their crisp mimosas, making our Sunday Brunch style experience authentic for us.
Besides being great for Brunch, Louise’s Pantry has fabulous regular breakfast and lunch choices, including mammoth Pancakes with different toppings, a variety of Omelets (I will be trying their Crab and Avocado one next time) and even Breakfast Burritos. For lunch, enjoy old time faves such as the Monte Cristo, Classic Club Sandwich and Big ½ Pound Burgers, as well as Salads for lighter fare, and so much more. And if you still can squeeze in a couple more morsels of food after your meal, Louise’s Pantry still offers sinful desserts including their famous pies.
With two convenient locations, Louise’s Pantry still stands as one of the Coachella Valleys most prized comfort food restaurant concepts since way back in the 40’s. It is a fantastic place to start out your New Year for Brunch, or breakfast and lunch, anytime in 2017 and beyond.
Louise’s Pantry La Quinta is located at 47-150 Washington St, La Quinta 92253
Louise’s Pantry Palm Desert is located at 73-155 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, 92260
For more information visit www.louisespantry.com