Welcome to ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a local's perspective. Your guide, Denise Ortuno is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Italian Delights at Mario's

By Denise Ortuno                                                                                            rsz imag2972

Casual, comfortable and delicious, Mario’s Italian Cafés have been bringing the best in delightful, traditional Italian dishes to the Coachella Valley for over 40 years!

If you live in the Coachella Valley and love Italian food, chances are that you’ve dined at one of Mario’s Italian Cafes 7 locations. And if you haven’t, there’s really no good excuse as there is probably one down the street from where you are right now. The family owned collection of restaurants first opened in 1972, by patriarch Mario Del Guidice, and over the years has spread across the desert filling up patrons with delightful Italian fare.

My neighborhood Mario’s is just a couple miles away from my home in Bermuda Dunes, and I think the quaintest out of the all of their locations (just my personal opinion). The unconventionally shaped space kind of reminds me of something out of Disneyland, with painted murals depicting Italian style scenery, twinkle lights and swoony Italian themed music swirling around the dining room. It certainly has a romantic feel, but also perfect for family gatherings.

Recently, I discovered my new favorite dish from Mario’s. My boyfriend and I usually get repeat items such as their Bolognese Pasta, or Pizza Slice lunch special ( 2 slices of New York style pizza with one topping, and an individual house salad for only $6.95), and of course a couple of their huge glasses chianti. But then one night a friend of ours came by our house and brought over some pizza from Mario’s. It was so good that we had to make a special trip there just to get one of our own, and while we were there, some salad and you guessed it, a couple of huge glasses of chianti…and let’s not forget, some Tiramisu.

The pizza that wowed us was their Margarita Pizza. The specialty pizza is comprised simple ingredients of tomato, fresh Mozzarella and Romano cheese, garlic and basil. But there is just something about the combination that makes it a classic, and oozes with amazing flavors, and Mario’s does an incredible job of creating it. Our friend who introduced us to Mario’s Margarita Pizza, mentioned that she orders it a special way, which we mimicked in detail on our visit there. We added extra garlic and tomatoes, with the crust crispy, and it came out perfect! Of course, if you’re not into garlic, or on a special date, you might not want to go the extra garlic route. But if you do, I highly recommend it, plus you get the added bonus of repelling those pesky vampires.

We added a couple of refreshing house salads to go with our fabulous Margarita Pizza, and the goblets of wine. For dessert, we had to have Mario’s creamy and decadent Tiramisu, which served as an excellent completion to our dinner. Besides pizza, Mario’s has a myriad of other scrumptious Italian dishes to satisfy, including Antipasto Salad, Chicken Marsala, Veal Picatta, Shrimp Scampi, Linguini & Clams, Spaghetti,  Lasagna, Cannelloni and whole lot more.

Mario’s Italian Cafés have become a Coachella Valley staple, with excellent food, comfortable atmosphere, and warm inviting vibe. One of many Italian favorite's of the Palm Springs Local!

Mario’s Italian Cafés are located across the Coachella Valley, for details visit www.mariositaliancafes.com

Cool Off With Some Cream at Kreem!

By Denise Ortuno                                                                                     rsz imag2729

There are times when you just crave it, the soft, sweet, creamy coolness melting in your mouth. It's a great way to cool off, and what you will find at Kreem Ice Cream & Coffee in Palm Springs.

It sort of reminded me of a dream sequence that I might have of groovy ice cream parlor, all white with a retro vibe, and amazing ice cream. I almost expected the twilight sounds of elevator music and muffled voices asking what flavor I would prefer. The new shop owned by chef and entrepreneur Bianca Simonians, recently made its debut on East Palm Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs this summer, to the welcomed delight of local and visiting ice cream fans.

The shop makes strides to stand alone in the sweet biz, as Simonian pays special attention to detail in her ice cream creations which are hand made in house, with organic dairy, natural ingredients and without GMO’s, preservatives or additives. An effort that is reflected in the ice creams exceptional texture and taste. Ice cream lovers will find out of the box flavors to choose from such as S’more’s, Lemon Meringue Pie, Hazelnut and many more Kreem’s standards, offered in cups, cones, cookie sandwiches and even a satisfying pint. They also have coconut based vegan alternatives including Vanilla Bean and Almond Joi, as well as refreshing sorbets. Simonian even makes her own Almond Milk, which I can’t wait to try.

For my introduction to Kreem, and after some friendly guidance, my taste buds landed on Lemon Meringue Pie. It just sounded like it would scoop me out of the pocket of heat that I had just walked in from, and it did. The lemony flavor wasn’t at all tart, but had a velvety citrus delivery with streams of short bread and little marshmallow surprises folded in. It was a bit of ice cream pie in a cup, and swept me away from my hot desert reality, plunging me into a creamy pool of cold goodness, at least until the end of my cup arrived. I was in a state of YUM!

Kreem doesn’t stop at their awesome ice cream, as they offer coffee concoctions as well using Heart Coffee Roasters, with cappuccinos, cafe lattes, espressos, cold brews and more. They even have coffee floats…yes, coffee floats!

Ice cream shops in the Coachella Valley are a must, providing us with some cool reprieve from the summer heat, and sweet bliss all year long. Kreem Ice Cream & Coffee does it right with fresh clean ingredients, fun flavors and an inviting vintage vibe. A new Palm Springs Local cream favorite!

Kreem Ice Cream & Coffee is located at 170 East Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs Ca 92264


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