Welcome to, 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, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Football Fun at The 19th Hole!

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                           rsz imag1949 1 1                                                                             

Now that football season is under way, it’s time to have some fun, relax, watch the game and let someone else do the cooking. The 19th Hole in Palm Desert provides game time enjoyment, perfect for football fun!

Known to regulars as, “The Hole”, it is one of those desert spots that has been around forever. It doesn’t really advertise, or boast, they don’t even have a website. But perhaps they don’t need to. Locals in the East Palm Desert area just know that the 19th Hole is there, and has been for decades. I remember playing around Palm Desert Country Club as a kid, and hanging out in the old shopping center that was there long, long before Albertsons, The Dollar Store and CVS. When the main grocery store was Welty’s, which is now Welty’s Postal Connection. And there in the tiny shopping nook, was The 19th Hole. I recall wanting to enter, but realizing that it was part bar, I just peered in the window as little curious kids do. The old shopping center was torn down, and the modern construction took over. The 19th Hole was resurrected, and although it has morphed slightly since then, the essence of the place is still the same. It is still a local hangout, a neighborhood haunt that long time patrons can count on.

More than a bar, the food is definitely one of the draws at The 19th Hole. They offer what most customers say, are the best Fish and Chips in the Coachella Valley, among other tasty menu items. And now with the kick off of football season, it is a chill place to watch a game or two on a lazy Sunday. Helping to make your Sunday even lazier, is their Bloody Mary Bar. It’s a build your own Bloody Mary scenario, where you are a given a pint glass with your chosen vodka and ice, and then you can choose your mix and different olives/beans or celery from the set up bar. It’s fun, and gives would be bartenders some concoction control.

If a Bloody Mary is not your thing, their full bar is sure to pour you something that is. For me and my boyfriend, it’s a couple of chilly beers and an order of their super delish Chili Cheese Fries. The chili is portioned fairly with beans and meat in a rich sauce, over thin cut fries (thicker fries are available) and topped with gooey cheese (onions are optional). It is a perfect for pairing for a Sunday Funday. And if that doesn’t end up being enough for us, we usually will extend our appetite with an order of their excellent Buffalo Wing’s….which also go fantastic with cold beer.

There are a variety of other menu items that make having a bite at The 19th Hole worthwhile, including weekend breakfast that is offered way past breakfast hours. Daily specials are also offered, and if you see that they have Chili Verde on the board, get it! Their Chili Verde is fantastic, and you can even get is served over nachos…big time YUM!

Prices at “The Hole” are moderate, and they are opened daily. They stay open until midnight on the weekends, when they offer evening entertainment (starting this fall).

With TV’s all around, great drinks, food and an inviting neighborhood ambience, The 19th Hole is the place for football Sunday Funday, or to hang out anytime of the week.

The 19th Hole is located at 42-305 Washington Street, Palm Desert, Ca 92211


Frankinbun Fun!

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                 rsz imag1896

I am pleased to announce, for those who may not already know, that there is a place in the Coachella Valley dedicated to the comforting, and foodie fun art of hot dogs and sausage’s. It is right on the cusp of downtown Palm Springs, whimsically called Frankinbun (Frank-in-Bun).

I’m not being sarcastic by any means. I believe that we in the Coachella Valley have long been deprived of hot dog and sausage slinging spots for way too long. I mean sure, you can find hotdogs on restaurants menus throughout the valley, but they are usually an afterthought, placed on the bottom of many menus along with kid meals. But the delightful tube meat deserves more than that, and at Frankinbun in Palm Springs, it is the main attraction, and takes a back seat to no menu item.

Opened in late 2015 by owner Tristan Gittens, the tiny indoor type hot dog stand has placed gourmet hot dogs and sausages on the desert food map. Manager Trevor Darmour kindly explained Gittens motivation for opening up the eatery, stating that he saw a void for the widely popular picnic food here in the valley, and decided to fill it. And fill it he did.

Frankinbun’s offerings teeter off the board of everyday tube meat creations, and that’s what makes the place so fun. As you approach the menu, you will be greeted by a selection of sausages. The weenie run down has the traditional All Beef Snap Dog, Bratwurst (veal and pork with black pepper), Keilbasa (pork smoked with black pepper), Jalapeno Hot Link (pork with jalapeno), Linguica (pork smoked with garlic), Italian (pork with Italian spices, served with grilled onions and peppers), Chicken Apple, Chicken Jalapeno and even a Vegan (black peas, mushrooms and brown rice flour). All the frankfurters come with your choice of toppings for free (yellow mustard, spicy brown, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut, onions, caramelized onions or grilled peppers) and some that require an extra .50 charge ( live sauerkraut, mango chutney, spicy ketchup and date chutney). They all come on a fresh bun, with a side of German style potato salad.

As for their own fantasy franks, they have plenty. A couple of which that were highlighted by Food Networks own Guy Fieri, on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, that aired earlier this summer. Fieri went for the Chicken & Waffle and the Vegan Chili Dog. The Chicken & Waffle is a weenie take on the southern favorite, served with two chicken apple sausages baked in Belgian waffles with a side of Maple syrup….who needs Fried Chicken? The Vegan Chili Dog is their meatless dog doused with their vegan chili and topped with live sauerkraut. I must say, I tried both of Frankinbuns chili offerings on my visit there, and it was some of the best chili that I have had. The vegan chili was full of flavor, and that sort of watered down tomato taste that sometimes accompanies vegan soups and chili was absent. It had lingering substance, with all the chili cast members fully visible. Their meat chili was fashioned in the Detroit style. I actually have never had that kind of chili, where the meat is so ground down…but oh my, it was so chili-licious! I will go back just for the chili…both of them.

I did of course have one of their doggy creations. I ventured for one of their classics, the Chicago Dog. It has always been a favorite of mine, and theirs was fantastic. It was served traditionally with pickle spears, tomatoes, peppers, celery salt, onions, mustard, and relish on a poppy seed bun. Other link options include the Frankinflight (flight of 3 sausages with grilled bread and samples of their favorite toppings), Currywurst & Fries (your choice of sausage smothered with sweet tomato curry and fries) Chili & Cheese Dog (remember what I said about the chili) and the Frankinbun’s Monster (snap dog and Italian sausage, grilled onions, peppers, relish, sauerkraut, raw onions, ketchup, all served in a bowl). And if you want a little something more, order a side of their hand cut fries, you can even chili cheese them up if you want.

Prices at Frankinbun are very reasonable, especially for the portions that they serve. They even provide wine and beer for those who want a little buzz with their Frankinbun experience.

It’s thrilling in the world of foodie fun, to have a place like Frankinbun right here in the desert. Traditional or frankin fantastic, their creations will bring familiar flavor to your palate, with whimsical comfort.

Frankinbun is located at 540 S. Indian Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, 92264

760-318-4841 online orders available



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