I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays with loved ones as much as I did on my trip to Palm Springs last week. My first stop was Spencer’s Restaurant adjacent to the famous Palm Springs Tennis Club. Even though this resort is a timeshare, you may rent rooms or suites from the owners for between $100-$200 a night during high season (now) or considerably less in the summer months. I highly recommend renting one of the bungalow suites which have their own kitchens and small pool and jacuzzi areas just across from the main building. If you want to live here like a native, staying in the bungalows is the next best thing.

Spencer’s has a beautiful outdoor patio area (with trees for shade and heaters for warmth) and a cozy indoor space where there a piano player (yes a LIVE performer!) was performing during lunch on a midweek afternoon. One of my favorite menu items here is the Lobster Club Sandwich ($23), but since I was going to a rich and wonderful meal that night, I opted for the lighter Ahi Salad ($16). It was a decent version of the classic tuna Nicoise, served with a lightly grilled rare piece of Ahi, endive leaves, spring greens, diced potatoes, hard boiled egg, green beans, and loaded with kalamata olives (too many). The salad needed some oomph or seasoning, but I found the dressing uninspiring, so I ended up adding salt and pepper to liven up the flavors.

My friend 85 year old friend Ruth had the Egg Salad Sandwich ($8) which was so big and tasty that she took half of it home for dinner. She is not at all adventurous when it comes to her food and she was happy to find a comforting dish on the menu. It was served with a gorgeous fruit side that included blueberries, boysenberries, strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon slices; the fruit side could have been a meal in and of itself!

As with all local restaurants, Spencer’s is geared towards the inhabitants. Even though I used to be a resident, I am now only a visitor. I enjoyed the freshness of the food and the beautiful environment of the restaurant, but I would have liked a bit more adventurous menu and seasoning. My friend Ruth however, is the epitome of a local resident (she has lived in Palm Springs for over 50 years), and she enjoyed the atmosphere and food immensely. Spencer’s is a very safe bet, and sometimes a safe bet is better than gambling on getting a good meal.