Dining with Dogs

Please believe me when I tell you we never set out to be the kind of people who would seriously consider a Baby Bjorn for a dog. I had never wanted a small dog at all, actually, but after our big, goofy, sweetheart of a German Shepherd died, we started fostering, and then we met Riley.

Riley, a Chihuahua-something, is the kind of dog who knows a sucker when she sees one, and she had us pegged from day one. I brought her home to foster, and Peter wondered that I wasn’t more charmed by her. “She’s so cute,” he said. “Look at her curly tail! And her coloring is just like a tiny German Shepherd!” 

“I don’t do small dogs. And anyway, she’s not ours. Best not to get too attached.”

By the next evening, Peter came home from work and caught us curled up together, watching TV. “Seems like she’s growing on you.”

 “It’s just body heat she wants. I’m not falling for it.”

By the third day, it occurred to me that she could fly in a carry-on bag. And I could wash her in the kitchen sink!

By the fourth day, he came home to find me looking guilty. “I called Much Love. I told them we’re keeping her. I can’t bring her to the adoption tomorrow.” Normally this would have been something we discussed first, but I know he had already fallen for her, too.

And that is how you become a foster failure. We’ve turned into people who like to bring our little dog with us when we can. If you have been similarly brainwashed by your pooch, here are some dog friendly restaurant patios in the area. Do you have a favorite I should check out? Please let me know in the comments. Note: Call and confirm before heading out, as pet-friendly policies may change.

RANCHO MIRAGE

Acqua Pazza(760) 862-9800 / 71-800 Highway 111 / RM 92264

On nice days, this restaurant at the River shopping center is a pleasant walk from The Biskra House.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on the spacious patio, which has misters that make even hot days comfortable. 

Maracas Cantina (760) 321-1001 / 72775 Dinah Shore Dr / RM 92270

We always have a good time here: they frequently have live music and the margaritas go down easy. We like the carnitas platter (it’s huge!) and the steak salad. Tip: The patio gate needs to be unlached from the inside, just send someone in to ask a server and they’ll get you set up on the patio.

PALM DESERT

Palm’s Cafe(760) 779-1617 / 44150 Town Center Way / Suite B5-B6 / PD 92260

Nestled into the corner next to Trader Joe’s, this family owned cafe features basic, diner-type fare for breakfast and lunch. There is also a Rancho Mirage location at 69930 Hwy 111.

PALM SPRINGS

Cheeky’s (760) 327-7595 / 622 N Palm Canyon / PS 92262

A delicious brunch spot open from 8 am to 2 pm Thursday through Monday. Emphasis on fresh, organic food and a menu that changes weekly.

Citron (at the Viceroy Hotel) / (760) 321-4630 / 415 S. Belardo Road / PS 92262

Dine at the patio or pooside and enjoy people watching and delicious cocktails. Check their website for fun seasonal special events. Cuisine is “California modern.” Prices typical for a hip hotel.

Jake’s(760) 327-4400 / 664 N Palm Canyon Dr. / PS 92262

This is one of our favorite brunch spots. We are particularly fond of the crab cakes and the Monte Cubano sandwich. The horseradish vodka bloody mary and cactus pear margaritas are delicious as well.

Spencer’s Restaurant (760) 327-3446 / 701 W. Baristo / PS 92262

This is an elegant restaurant located in the hills of Palm Springs. Your furry friend is welcome to join you on the pretty patio, and you will love both the updated American classic food and the exceptional wine list.

Norma’s (at the Parker House hotel) / (760) 321-4630 / 4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr / PS 92264

We like Norma’s for special occasion breakfast or brunch. It’s fun to check out the Jonathan Adler designed 70’s chic hotel, and the “indulgent comfort food” menu is delicious (though a bit pricey).

Native Foods (760) 416-0070 / Smoke Tree Village / 1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr. • PS 92264

This is a vegan restaurant, but don’t let that stop you. Even carnivores find the food delicious, and you still get french fries. This restaurant now has many locations, but Palm Springs was the first. Sadly, the closer Palm Desert location has closed.

Pomme Frite(760) 778-3727 / 256 S. Palm Canyon • PS 92262

We have yet to try this restaurant, which features Belgian beer and French food. We certainly like the name! Please give us your opinion if you’ve tried it.