Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Search of Fried Chicken: Murph's Gaslight

When I was in Palm Desert looking for good food options, a friend of a friend recommended Murph's Gaslight for their fried chicken. Murph's is located at the entrance to the Bermuda Dunes Airport in Bermuda Dunes, which is in between Palm Desert and Indio, in the Coachella Valley. Murph's shares its facilities with the Bermuda Dunes Racquet Club, a facility with both a pool and courts, and has been in business since 1976.

According to its website, founder Ralph Murphy grew up in the South and then in the 1930s worked on luxury ocean liners where he learned the "French way with food." When he opened Murph's Gaslight, he "introduced his unique method of preparing pan-fried chicken by combining the best of Southern Cooking and of French food preparation methods."

In the summer off season, we were the only people in the restaurant less than 65 years old. The menu proudly states that Murph's is the "Home of the Original Pan Fried Chicken", so that is what we ordered. At lunch the fried chicken is served with french fries, cole slaw and the soup of the day for $9.95. We passed on the soup and went straight for the chicken, which arrived in a basket on top of the french fries. The chicken was just ok, it did not have that straight out of the pan taste to it. In fact my dining companion noted that he felt it tasted like the chicken had been sitting out.

So unfortunately after the detour to try it, based on this one visit I can't recommend Murph's fried chicken. It just was ordinary at best. Perhaps during peak season or on Sunday when they are continuously serving order after order of the chicken, there would be a better chance of getting it hot out of the frying pan.

Note that at dinner the fried chicken is served family style, for parties of two or more, for $17.95 per person. That includes all the traditional sides such as potatoes, gravy, biscuits, gravy, peas, vegetables etc. On Sundays the only dish served is the fried chicken meal, which is available from 3 pm until closing.

Through September 30, you can print this coupon to get two meals for the price of one.

Murph's Gaslight is located at 79-860 Avenue 42 in Bermuda Dunes. Phone: (760) 345-6242. Website: www.murphsgaslight.com

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