Ten great summer restaurant deals for the Valley

The menu at Alicante offers Spanish Mediterranean choices, including pizza and tapas. (Photo: Kevin Steele)

As originally seen in The Desert Sun

, The Desert Sun

The Coachella Valley is in the midst of a food revival. Post-recession, new restaurants and chefs are flooding the area to create a competitive landscape in an area that previously saw many of its best establishments close for the summer. It’s not hyperbole to say that residents and vacationers have more options for food here than ever before.

Even with this newfound culinary revival, restaurant owners in the Valley fear the summer.

Places that rely on out-of-town customers during the winter months find the heat brutal for business. A restaurant owner once told me that anyone with a functional kitchen can make a profit in the winter, but that the summers serve as natural selection. Only the strong survive.

Some spots close early and some only open for weekends, but the ones who survive all seem to do so by keeping the interest of the locals. The best way to do that is to offer deals — lots of them.

Throughout the summer, restaurants in the Valley will offer some fairly significant deals. The list below highlights some of the best:

Don & Sweet Sue’s Café: They give out a VIP card every year to any paying customer, or anyone who comes in and asks for one. The cards grant 10% off the entire menu and can be used for as many meals as desired from now until September 30. The card can also be used for to-go orders.

Address: 68955 E Ramon Rd # 1, Cathedral City

Phone: (760) 770-2760

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alicante: This Spanish-American restaurant offers Tapas Tuesday — $1 off all tapas, $3 craft beer and $3 sangria — Wino Wednesdays — selected $20 bottles of wine with purchase of dinner — and Locals Monday — 15% off with a local ID. There is also a rotating $9 specialty pizza during the week for lunch alongside $3 craft beers and $5 house wines. Lastly, the restaurant has a two-course lunch prix fixe for $15.99 and a two-course dinner prix fixe for $17.99, both of which have a menu that changes weekly.

Address: 140 South Palm Springs Drive, Palm Springs

Phone: (760) 325-9464

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Bonta Restaurant and Bar: They have a special prix fixe summer menu that includes a three-course dinner for $19.95. The deal is offered from 4 p.m. until close, and isn’t offered to parties of 10 or more people.

Address: 68510 E Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 140, Cathedral City

Phone: (760) 832-6100

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to close.

Louise’s Pantry: This one requires a bit more effort, but it’s worth it. On the back of the receipts of three La Quinta grocery stores — Ralphs (10772 Jefferson Blvd), Vons (78-271 CA-111), and Stater Bros. (78-630 CA-111) — are two-for-one coupons for the brunch joint. Present said coupon, then buy two meals and two drinks and receive the lesser one for free.

Address: 47-150 Washington Street, La Quinta

Phone: (760) 771-3330

Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Manhattan in the Desert: Both the Palm Springs and Palm Desert locations are offering a summer menu. For $11.99 a person, the special includes a soup or salad, veggies, and a choice of potato alongside an entrée, items like roasted turkey, meatloaf, corned beef, or hamburger steak.

Palm Springs

Address: 2665 E Palm Canyon Drive

Phone: (760) 322-3354

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Palm Desert

Address: 74-225 Highway 111 Suite B

Phone: (760) 340-1304

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

El Mexicali Café: For the month of July, the original El Mexicali is offering an extended happy hour menu. From 10 a.m. to close, Monday through Friday, eating at the bar will not be an expensive endeavor. In terms of cocktails, domestic beers are $2.50, imported beer is $3, chavelas (a Mexican bloody mary, essentially) are $3, and well drinks are $5. For food, El Mexicali will be launching a new happy hour menu that includes dishes like tacos and nachos for under $7.

Address: 82-720 Indio Blvd., Indio

Phone: (760) 347-1280

Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The New York Company: The restaurant is offering a wide range of summer specials, from $7 appetizers to $3 well drinks and $5 10-ounce martinis. There’s also a three-course dinner with five entrée options for $17.95 as well as a three-course prime rib special for $21.95.

Address: 1260 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Phone: (760) 778-7789

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Happy Hour drinks from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Lulu California Bistro: One of the staples of downtown Palm Springs, Lulu continues to run their three-course prix fixe menu throughout the summer. The substantial menu, which goes from 11 a.m. until close, costs $19.99, or $16.99 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The restaurant also runs a large happy hour from 10 a.m. until close, including a 40-item menu and discounted drinks.

Address: 200 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Phone: (760) 327-5858

Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Zin American Bistro: Zin has deals on deals. There’s a two-course prix fixe during the week for $19.99 (and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), a Monday-Friday two-course lunch prix fixe for $15.99, and a $16.99 brunch on Saturday and Sunday that includes endless champagne for an additional $8. Plus, a cellar close-out and 50% off select wines Monday-Wednesday, and Fried Chicken Thursdays, featuring 50% off a bottle of chardonnay with purchase of a fried chicken dinner.

Address: 198 S Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Phone: (760) 322-6300

Hours: Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mr. Lyons: The new steakhouse has an expansive — and also expensive — dinner menu, as well as separate bar offerings. But for the off-season, they’re unveiling a Summer Sessions Menu in the lounge area that will run from June to October and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The menu includes cocktails and wine for under $8, and then a burger ($9), devils on horseback ($6), onion rings ($5), and hand cut fries ($4).

Address: 233 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Phone: (760) 327-1551

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to close.

Bonus: This is a menu addition more than a deal, but Café Europa is making smoothies for the summer. From now until October 15, they’re offering organic and clean smoothies alongside their normal menu. One example is an item made with cherries, Belgian chocolate and dried cranberries. Price wise, the smoothies run between $7.50 and $8.

Address: 515 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs,

Phone: (805) 886-7823

Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Everett Cook covers food, spirits, and general human interest stories for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at everett.cook@desertsun.com and on Twitter @everettcook.

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