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Restaurant Visit: Armando’s Dakota Bar & Grill

Indio, California: No time for rest - Kathy & Woody arrived yesterday, after driving in their motorhome for three days solid to reach Indio. We invited Marci & Jim to join us last night to celebrate Woody's birthday.


We served smoked salmon canapes (on cucumber rounds), Caesar Salad, Chianti Beefover rigatoni and I baked a Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Lemon for the Birthday Boy. It was so much fun catching-up with our old friends. We have a golf date this week.

DT and I had errands to run this afternoon, so headed down to El Paseo (the shopping area in Palm Desert) for shopping and lunch. I wanted to try a restaurant that has been in Palm Desert for as long as I can remember, thinking if a restaurant has been here forever, it is probably pretty good. Armando's Dakota Bar and Grill (73260 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260; phone 760-346-0744) is a Mexican restaurant featuring the classic dishes on every menu in every Mexican restaurant in America.

Armando's has a bit of lore in our family as Dave had previously visited the establishment. About 15 years ago, DT was in the Palm Springs area with buddies on a golfing trip. In the old days, it would not be unusual for this group (of twelve men) to golf 36 holes in a day, go out for dinner, drink and gamble play cards in their condo until the wee-hours and get up and do it all again the next day.

Those days are long gone.

One night on this trip, a member of the golfing group (Dickey) suggested they go to this "great Italian restaurant" he knew about on El Paseo. Everyone piled in cars and Dickey led them to Armando's Mexican Restaurant. How Dickey confused tacos with ravioli, no one knows, but the story continues to be told to this day.

I was not too impressed. We were seated promptly - it was after 1p and the restaurant was about half full - but my bottom was barely on my chair when a server asked if she could bring us a drink or appetizer. It was obvious we hadn't even picked-up our menus! Why does this bother me so much and why does this continue to happen all over the country? I suppose complete attention is the opposite of sitting at your table for twenty minutes before a server even acknowledges your presence?

We politely asked for a few moments to look over the menu and placed our drink orders. I had a margarita on the rocks and DT had a Mexican beer. Then we placed our food order and our meals arrived promptly.

Chile Colorado Burrito

Chicken Tostada

Our food was good and even though I ordered an appetizer-portion chicken tostada, it was massive and loaded with huge chunks of shredded chicken breast.

But there was just something off about the place and with all the great Mexican restaurants in the Palm Springs area, there is no reason to drive all the way to El Paseo for a burrito.

Plus, my margarita was terrible. Too much tequila. Too much really bad tequila.

Verdict: go elsewhere (or visit an Italian restaurant).

I am icing my mangled foot as I type tonight. I will try again tomorrow to put on a shoe - probably going to need to wear a shoe if I am golfing Friday.

Until my next update, I remain, your overly-picky correspondent.

RV PARK: The Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.