By Dan Paris
Tucked into a classic Highway 111 Palm Desert strip mall, the newly opened Grindhouse Burgers is ready to redefine the burger experience for CV residents. I could tell something special was happening inside as soon as I exited my pickup. The aromas wafting from the grill stoked my anticipation.
Classically trained chef Reuben Reyes grinds all the meats he uses in house and blends them for the twenty- five plus burger offerings plus Turkey and Beyond Beef plant based choices. The beef burger mixes include the following options: Standard– Blend of Chuck, Short Rib and Skirt Steak. Deluxe-Short-Rib, Sirloin and Strip Loin. Fancy Pants-Short Rib, Sirloin and Rib Eye. Asada– Chuck and Carne Asada.
The décor of the restaurant is casual and inviting with plenty of seating at tables and undulating live-edge wood counters.
Like many Coachella valley restaurants, Grindhouse is a family affair. Reuben’s parents, Greg and Belinda Rangel, invest their time and energy to ensure a welcoming, engaging experience for each customer. Greg acted as the general contractor for the space conversion and Belinda tracks the financials and adds her design sense to the décor. In Greg’s words “We want to create an atmosphere where patrons can have an unrushed experience to savor the flavors.” Greg and Belinda also run an electrical contracting business. Make sure to check out the meandering steam punk light fixture in the men’s room.
Chef Reuben calmly commands the grill and plates the orders with an array of house-made sauces, garnishes and sides.
In addition to the extensive burger menu, there are a variety of salads, sandwiches, sides and specials.
I ordered the Bistro burger made with the Deluxe meat mix and the Citrus salad. My dining companion ordered the Turkey burger. The salad was fresh and crispy with mixed greens, apples, jicama, orange sections, celery, pickled red onions, and walnuts brought together with a house made citrus vinaigrette. The Bistro burger was topped with melted white cheddar, caramelized onions, bacon, avocado, tomato and arugula in a brioche bun. The Turkey burger was topped with melted white cheddar, arugula, avocado, red onion, and lemon aioli on a whole wheat bun.
My first bite got my undivided attention. The flavors sang together like a well rehearsed gospel choir. The patty had the meaty flavor of a perfectly charred steak. This is no ordinary burger joint. I was already planning my next meal here during my second bite.
I tasted a bite of the Turkey burger which, to my surprise, was moist and well seasoned.
Delicious fries and a crunchy pickle accompanied the burgers along with house made garlic aioli. You can accompany your burger with fried green tomatoes, deep fried pickles, crispy Brussel sprouts, parmesan-garlic fries, beer-battered fries, sweet potato fries or tots .
Chef Reuben’s culinary experience influences every item on the menu with thoughtful attention given to the flavor profile of the combined ingredients.
The prices are reasonable given the freshness and attention to detail devoted to the menu. An extensive selection of wine, beers, and soft drinks are available.
Service is attentive and courteous and the chef is happy to customize a burger to your tastes.
73850 Hwy. 111 Suite B, Palm Desert, 92260
Phone: (760) 404-0300
Hours: 10:30- 9:30 Tuesday through Saturday . 10-2 on Sunday
Prices: $ 7.00-16.00
Recommended dishes: Burgers, Salads, Brown sugar maple cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert