Desert Delights

joshua tree desert delights
Above: Sam’s Indian Food & Pizza is a gem

One of things I enjoy on my day trips (when I am fully functional and mobile, which I have not been) is the discovery of little treasures.

Unfortunately, I am still not back up to speed and so my trip home has been delayed.

But I am hoping to at least have a good dip in the mineral pools and maybe raise my body temperature and between that and the moisture, knock the rest of the lingering crud away.

Now, one of the things that has become my specialty is finding gems for smaller budgets and that are close enough to choose to head home or to spend the night if a person wanted to do so.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve turned onto the Desert Hot Springs, nearby restaurants and spa secrets but can say that I’ve expanded to Joshua Tree.

I am still sulking over my “Get Your Brew on Route 62” coffee mug from Water Canyon Coffee which closed up in Yucca Valley. But really, the closure might serve me well since it has motivated me to seek out other options.

Prior to a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, I had a great cup of espresso and an equally divine meal at The Crossroads. The funky little cafe is a nostalgic trip back to little Bohemian coffee houses.

It is a mix of quirky and creative with a menu that includes comfort food as well as a full menu of health conscious choices so that it has something for everyone.

Since the neighborhood is very close to the entry of the national park, it attracts a diverse group of patrons, which is perfect for people watching.

Then after you’ve finished your meal, you can stroll next door to look at artwork and a variety of crafts for the desert dweller.

The price is also kind to your pocketbook–which makes it a must try!

I was also “forced” (like GG could ever be) to explore Sam’s Subs, Pizza & Indian Food and was amazed and delighted to find some of the best Indian food around.

In fact, some of the dishes are out of this world such as the mango curry. We opted for the veggie option and I have to say that the blend of sweet and spicy mixed with different taste bursts of fresh vegetables of various sorts was simply heaven.

For the more adventurous, try the Indian pizza made with paneer or chicken tikka.

Don’t be fooled by the strip mall exterior. The place is a lush oasis with intimate lighting, rich colorful hangings and ceiling cover but it welcomes everyone from the serious rock climber or traveler to the locals. Casual attire is appropriate.

Combing an ethnic specialty with pizza must be a growing trend because I probably forgot to report previously on that little place in Escondido called World’s Best Pizza. Ishmael sells Salvadorian food and pizza and is known for both but I always opt for the exotic when I can.

Now, I still have a lot more exploring to do but if you are heading to the park for the day, start with one food place and end with the other–and then report back.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011 and is filed under GG's Day Trips, Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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