The Parker Palm Springs - Where You're Free to Imbibe and Feast (Part 3 of 3)
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Last, but certainly not least, we can't talk about The Parker without talking about some options for eating and drinking! Although The Parker's dining options were limited due to COVID restrictions, we still ate and drank incredibly well during our short stay, and did our best to strike a balance between venturing out to explore options in downtown Palm Springs and taking advantage of what was readily available at the estate (read: when we felt too lazy to go out).
Aside from the amazing room service menu, the Lemonade Stand, and Mini Bar, The Parker's current main food attraction is Norma's. Norma's is the ever present and ever welcoming open-air terrace serving breakfast all day (in addition to other delicious non-breakfast options). Basically, a luxe version of a family friendly diner, and depending on the weather, the colorful canopies are adjusted throughout the day. The Parker was great about providing QR codes for contactless menus, and there was at least one hand sanitizer dispenser at every food/drink location for guests to use prior to eating or drinking.
After checking into our room, we were in a celebratory mood. After all, it was well over a year since our last vacation, so our first meal at Norma's involved two lobster dishes.
But double lobster was a happy coincidence... First, we each ordered an entrée:
His: Pancho's Crispy Fish Tacos
Hers: Rock Lobster and Mango Salad
Then, we asked our waiter if he would recommend anything else to share and he unequivocally recommended the lobster mac n cheese (aptly titled: "Chunks of Lobster Swimming in Cheesy Macaroni"), which, let's be honest, I was already eyeing anyway. We were certainly happy to gobble up the creamy macaroni and tender pieces of lobster. Gratuitous close up:
The mahi mahi fish tacos were deliciously crispy and very flavorful thanks to the breaded seasoning, chipotle salsa, and pickled onions. The lobster and mango salad was a super fresh, mega mountain of a salad, and super refreshing because of the perfectly cooked lobster and citrus vinaigrette.
After a day of exploring Palm Springs (sidebar: October is a great time to visit because it's sunny, but not hot, and the mornings and evenings actually feel a bit brisk, so pack a warm jacket or coat), we ended our night with drinks at the Mini Bar. During these times of corona(virus), you have the option of ordering at the bar using their QR code contactless menu, or taking a seat at the outdoor seating area and waiting for someone to take your order. No indoor service, but when the gardens of the estate are as beautiful as they are, best to take advantage!
We previously saw a Pimm's Cup mention in some of the Parker's materials related to its amenities (namely, Croquet), but alas, our bartender informed us that he didn't have any Pimms No. 1 on hand. He also informed us that he happens to make a really good Pimm's Cup. :'( LOL. Tim joked that we should head to the nearest liquor store stat and bring our bartender a bottle of Pimm's No. 1.
Not to worry, there are many other delicious cocktails on the Mini Bar menu, and we ended up with:
Golden Hour (left) with Chopin Rye Vodka, Cucumber, Thai Basil, Lime, and Fino Sherry, and
Pink Heather (right) with Chopin Rye Vodka, Mint, Cucumber, Lemon, House Salted Hibiscus Elixir, and Golden Green Juice.
Both were chock-full of flavor without being overly sweet, very refreshing, and by comparison, the Pink Heather was just a smidge less sweet than the Golden Hour.
Our next meal at Norma's was breakfast! Breakfast at Norma's begins with a complimentary shot of the fruit smoothie of the day.
We made sure to try some of their beloved breakfast items:
Norma’s Super Blueberry Pancakes (from the cheekily named "Mom Can't Make This" section of the menu) were the biggest and fluffiest pancakes we've ever had. Literally, Tim said, "Name a better pancake" after we tried our first bites, and I could not. We don't enjoy super sweet things, and these pancakes were buttery and fatty rather than sugary, which was perfect for us. The Devonshire Cream was a delicious addition as well.
Over on the Farm Fresh Eggs side, the applewood smoked bacon was super crispy, the over easy was exactly what we asked for, and the homestyle sausages had plenty of flavor (we asked for both bacon and sausage because #vacaymode). The Farm Fresh Eggs order comes with seasoned mini potatoes (yum!) and your choice of toast or english muffin. We went with the sourdough toast, and once again, Norma's really over-delivered on portion size.
Time flies when you're having fun, and soon it was time for our very last meal at The Parker - we tried two additional breakfast items at Norma's: the Norma’s Eggs Benedict, which consisted of Buttermilk Pancakes layered with Canadian Bacon and Grilled Asparagus, and a Traditional Eggs Benedict for comparison purposes.
We tend to order two different items and share/swap so that we can try one of each. Both benedicts were delicious and filling, but I'm not sure I understand the asparagus for an eggs benny. :)
Our last meal ended with complimentary lightly glazed/candied orange slices - so yummy, fragrant, and the perfect palate cleanser at the end of a decadent meal.
We ran out of time and/or eating and drinking capacity in terms of ordering from the Lemonade Stand or off the room service menu, but those will be new experiences to look forward to for (hopefully) a return visit... maybe when PSYC re-opens?