By Daniel Paris
Established in 1987, Cactus Jack’s is an old-school supper club/sports bar hybrid. Imagine a sports bar with excellent, thoughtfully presented food. Though the alcohol flows freely, the food is the star here. The dining atmosphere is really nice. Not what I was expecting from the unremarkable exterior. Nicely upholstered booths, soft lighting, warm colors, and walls displaying jazz-themed artwork and historic valley golf images with many signed by the golf pros of yesteryear. This is a very popular place with large portions of well-prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees. The main focus here is prime rib. You can get it as a huge slab or in sliders, sandwiches, or as an entrée salad.
I ordered a corned beef Rueben. I was expecting the usual overly lean and dry corned beef lunchmeat awash in Russian dressing. What I received was a nicely plated perfectly done grilled rye sandwich packed with N.Y.C. deli quality corned beef and just the right amount of sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.
I reserved a table (highly recommended) on a Sunday and the atmosphere was buzzing with football fans in the bar, the clientele mostly upper middle age. On the other side of the partition, separating the bar and dining room, was a quiet space where you could have a normal conversation without amping up the volume. There is a good-sized outdoor patio with an all-inclusive sport themed mural dominating the space.
Cactus Jack’s staff is experienced and very friendly. They are happy to be back and it shows in the welcoming atmosphere they have created. I understand why their loyal regulars keep returning to enjoy the consistently excellent food and drinks.
74450 HWY. 111
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Hours: Monday – Friday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.