Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Palm Desert Edition: El Gallito

The Palm Springs / Palm Desert area is not known for its bounty of good dining options. There are upscale steakhouses and spots in hotels, as well as value spots appealing to families and retirees but not so many good ethnic or interesting choices that are both good and reasonably priced. El Gallito (the Rooster) is an oasis in this environment, offering good Mexican food in an atmosphere that feels homey and lived in. Its not surprising that this Cathedral City restaurant is listed in Road Food.

El Gallito is located in a stand alone building with red trim, red fences and red benches. The restaurant is known for its rules: you can't order beer/wine without ordering food, chips and salsa will only be served after you have ordered your food, cash only, and no splitting checks. This is not the kind of spot that takes reservations.

In the winter months there is often a wait to be seated but in the heat of the summer, there was no wait and they even broke their rule (their house, their rules) by bringing me chips and salsa before I had ordered. I had a combination of an enchilada and a burrito. Both were good, served piping hot and arrived at the table quickly. I'd describe it as quality solid California Mexican. They are not aiming for fancy/healthy or regional cuisine.

The food is fairly priced, tastes good and is served in a comfortable environment. In Los Angeles, El Gallito would not stand out, but in the Coachella Valley its a great option.

El Gallito is located at 68820 Grove St, just off of Allen Avenue and within sight of Highway 111 / E. Palm Canyon Drive. Phone: (760) 328-7794‎

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