Welcome to ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a locals perspective. Your guide, Denise Neil (Denise Ortuno Neil) 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!

Kick Off April with Brew at the Zoo!

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                  rsz brew 2017

April in the Coachella Valley ushers in beautiful desert sunshine, (more summery than springy) and a load of staple events that provide a variety of fun and excitement. Of course there is the monster Golden Voice concerts, but before we go mid-April, let’s take baby steps and start off with the months first weekend with some bubbling Brew at the Zoo!

The Living Deserts 8th Annual Brew at the Zoo, foams up on Saturday, April 1, at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert. This is such a fun event! A Palm Springs Local favorite! The Living Deserts Brew at the Zoo is a craft beer and foodie haven, with live music laced in for added entertainment, and it’s all set amidst the gorgeous grounds of the Living Desert. The event has a cozy feel of sorts, kind of like the jungle cruise part of Disneyland, except without the water, or jungle….but there is a lushness about it. Just trust me, it’s a great vibe, and you will no doubt leave full of delicious craft beer and mouthwatering food.

Vendors include, CVB, La Quinta Brewery, Hangar 24 (first place that I ever tried their beer), Crater Lake Vodka, Buzzbox, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Pacifica, The Cliffhouse, Pieros Pizzavino, Sherman’s, The Hood and many more. The tasty event runs from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, and tickets range from $70 to $150 for VIP. They even offer a designated driver for an additional $45…now that’s an event with a conscience, all benefiting the animals at the Living Desert. It’s a fun and belly satisfying way to spend a Saturday night in the Coachella Valley.

For more information and tickets visit www.livingdesert.org. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is located at 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert.

Photo credit/ www.livingdesert.org

Fresh Agave's Refreshing Margarita's

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                   rsz fresh agave

Picture it, a refreshing tangy ice cold Margarita blissfully floating in your mouth, the slight tinge of salt grazing your lips (or not if you like to go salt-less). There is nothing quite like it on a warm weekend afternoon, and Fresh Agave in Palm Desert has one of the best Margarita’s in the Coachella Valley. Coupled with fantastic food and ultra-friendly service, it’s an awesome spot to relax and raise a glass.

I remember the spot where Fresh Agave stands today as a former Mexican restaurant a long time ago…El Mexican Café I believe. Then later El Mirasol gave the location a try for a bit as I recall. But it was Fresh Agave who seems to have found the right recipe for lasting success there, as they are consistently busy all year round.

Opened in October 2010 by Rigo and Cecilia Garcia, the restaurant offers up some of the best Mexican food and Margarita’s in the desert, and is a go to spot for The Palm Springs Local. There is just something about it. Besides the tasty food and drinks, I really enjoy their quaint bar and it’s social vibe. It is kind of on the small side, but that is what makes it so cool. Although they have ample dining room seating, I prefer the bar. However, to sit there, you have to get there at a time when the bar is not full, or patiently wait for a seat to open up and then pounce on it!

Part of the charm there is the service. Even if you have never been there before, the staff and Bartender extraordinaire Jesus Martin, will make you feel like a regular. It is that intangible quality that keeps me and a multitude of other loyal guests coming back in droves.

Now if you’re wondering what Agave means, well I will tell you. It is what the main ingredient of the wondrous Margarita is made from, Tequila. The Blue Agave plant produces the nectar that makes any Mexican meal even better. You can see the restaurants love for its moniker clearly from its all-encompassing blue walls.

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Their Margaritas are served in large bubble style glasses, and are reminiscent of a Margarita that you might find at another Mexican restaurant right behind them on El Paseo. The comparison would make sense, as part of the staff, including Garcia himself, were once part of the other establishment. But although there are some similarities in the look and maybe even the taste of their Margaritas, the ambience and congenial staff of Fresh Agave outweigh even the thought of switching. They are my personal preference….just saying.

The House Margarita is the best, it is pure and simple with Gold Tequila, Triple Sec and Sweet & Sour. I have it on the rocks with salt, however having it blended is also an option. But there are other Margarita varieties to enjoy as well, including the One Eleven (the House with a float of Chambord), the Cadillac (House with a floater of Grand Marnier), the Skinny for those of you watching your alcohol caloric intake (Hornitos Sauza Resposado, Fresh Lime and Agave Nectar), or a try a fruit Margarita with Strawberry, Mango, Peach, Tamarindo, Banana or Pina Colada.

There are plenty of food selections to go along with your libation. My favorite is the Quesadilla with Fajita Chicken. It is so succulent and big! It is easily shared between two people. Another absolute fave of mine is the Taco Fiesta for two. It actually could feed three people, maybe four. My boyfriend and I have ordered it several times and after eating for a while, it hardly looks like a dent has been made. The Taco Fiesta has portions of Carne Asada, Pollo Asada, Carnitas, Chorizo, Guacamole, Pica de Gallo, Jalapenos, Sour Cream and Cheese with your choice of tortillas. For only $24, it is one heck of a deal! Besides my favorites, their menu offers up many other scrumptious items. Everything from Tacos, Enchiladas, Fish dishes and Mole too.

They are opened seven days a week from 11am to 9pm during the week, and until 10pm on the weekends. Check out their daily Happy Hour from 3pm to 5pm for special pricing.

Fresh Agave in Palm Desert is awesome for a weekend afternoon (or anytime) filled with super fantastic Margaritas, delicious Mexican food, loving care service and good times. Cheers!

Located at 73-325 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, Ca 92260

Visit www.freshagavemexicanbarandgrill.com for more information

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