Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pinocchio in the Desert - Palm Springs, CA

Pinocchio in the Desert
134 East Tahquitz Canyon Way  
Palm Springs, CA 92262

A casual, seat yourself eatery, Pinocchio in the Desert offers a delightful street side covered patio in addition to a seating area inside.  It offers breakfast, lunch, and all day happy hour that is sure to please.  The indoor portion of the restaurant offers the same street views and airy feel with more climate control which would be great for the hot summer lunch hours, but we visited Pinocchio in the Desert when it was warm and comfortable so we chose to eat outside.  Looking around the patio we noticed overhead heaters for cold desert nights and fun straw umbrellas for hot desert days.  Regardless of the season, the patio customers will always be comfortable and we liked that consideration a lot.

The atmosphere is playful and the décor is minimal with the occasional vintage tin movie poster on the walls. Merchandising is offered from the expected t-shirts and glassware to the not so expected sunglasses and Pinocchio noses.  A ceramic statue of Marilyn Monroe greets customers on the sidewalk and is frequently featured in touristy pictures.  She is a well-known icon of this part of downtown. 

We were greeted with prompt service from the casual wait staff.   Our drink order was taken quickly and we looked at the menu trying to decide what to order.  We loved the large goblets our drinks came in, but were disappointed that the water ordered without lemon came with it and the soft drink that should have been Dr. Pepper was actually Diet Coke.  This was quickly changed, but kind of set the tone for what we were going to experience.  

Fun goblets for soft drinks and colorful straws
contribute to the atmosphere of Pinocchio.
We decided on the California Omelet which has artichoke, avocado, tomato, and is covered with Swiss cheese and served with home style potatoes and sourdough toast.  Much like with the drinks, we found that our omelet wasn’t exactly as ordered.  The tomatoes were supposed to come on the side, but were forgotten although a few made it into random bites.  Our server offered to remake it, but it was easy enough to eat around them.

California omelet

We also ordered the short stack of pancakes which came with two eggs and three slices of bacon.  This was pretty basic and we felt it was an ordinary breakfast offering we could have gotten anywhere.  The eggs were cooked as ordered and the bacon was crisp and hot.  The pancakes were good, albeit a little generic.

Short stack, eggs, and bacon

After we paid our check, we lingered on the patio enjoying the weather and the passersby.  It was such a nice place to brunch in spite of the service snafus and it completely captured the essence of our vacation – relaxation, warm weather, and good food!

Pinocchio in the Desert on Urbanspoon

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