The last few days of 2013 had all five of us on a mini romp to Palm Springs for the first time in a while. It had been a good three years since we had all gone away together to somewhere. It’s hard enough to dine with five different taste buds but we find we can all probably agree on Italian or Mexican and find something on the menu for all of our disparate senses.
In the shopping center and outdoor food court closely located to our time share, we found our familiar vegan eatery chain – Native Foods Cafe – yet we decided to please everyone and eat at Giuseppes next door for dinner. Then V and I ordered all the desserts from Native Foods to go (to taste test) throughout our three day stay. Sounds like a compromise to me. Native Foods started up in Palm Springs but this particular location was not the ‘original’ one.
Giuseppes is located at the Smoke Tree Village Shopping Center on East Palm Canyon Drive. They were swamped by the time our orders started rolling in. Good thing we like to eat early. We waited some time for our orders and the food was just so-so but we were all starving. The place was packed (must have been starving out of towners like us) by the time we left with a line coming out the door and into the cold desert night air. I don’t think I would dine here again, especially having Native Foods next door but what we chose to munch on is a good example of what you can eat as a vegan in a cheese laden establishment.
The non-vegans had some hearty specialty thick crusted Chicago style pizza with meats and cheese. Also, a Caprese salad and a meat filled sandwich of some sort. I know the pizza wasn’t so wonderful because we took it back home and it wasn’t re-warmed late that night as per usual. We threw it out when we departed instead.
To start, all five of us love bruschetta but it was rather oily and under seasoned. The flat grilled bread was a tad burnt. I believe there were mozzarella sticks involved at this juncture as well.Every picture tells a story and this one is no exception.
Then each vegan at the table had a salad and the non vegans shared a mozzarella/tomato salad better known as a Caprese. It wasn’t finished and as I glanced over it barely looked touched. Our salad was mixed greens with garbanzo beans, red onions, tomato, roasted beets in a balsamic vinaigrette. It was ok but a little sparse.
Then I ordered the garlic special hoping I would have takers and helpers – a thin crust pizza with olive oil, garlic, tomato and fresh basil, no cheese. If I had known it was going to be just so-so flavor wise and dry crispy like an unsalted cracker, maybe I would’ve chosen the vegetarian without cheese. That was regular crust with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil and artichoke hearts. Good toppings to try on a homemade pizza. After a few slices were consumed because of ravenous hunger, this pizza was also left un eaten during late night TV watching and also thrown out upon our departure. I do believe the toppings were picked off somewhat though. But if the crust, the foundation, is not right – the whole system fails.
Meanwhile, dessert at Native Foods over the course of three days included: pumpkin pie with a granola crust and ginger creme, oatmeal creme pie consisting of a sandwich of two soft oatmeal cookies with whipped vanilla creme in the middle, a double delight brownie, a chocolate cupcake, a carrot cream cheese cupcake and my personal favorite – a peanut butter parfait – imagine a creamy peanut butter mousse layered between broken up banana bread and chocolate chips.
Good thing dinner was nothing special and we saved ourselves for sweets.