Chile relleno and a tarot card reader

A fine mist blows over Armando's in Palm Desert. Photo by David Lansing.

A fine mist blows over Armando's in Palm Desert. Photo by David Lansing.

There are a ton of restaurants along El Paseo, “the Rodeo Drive of the desert,” in Palm Desert. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of good ones. One of the ones I like is Armando’s. There’s nothing really special about it. It’s typical Tex-Mex food with oversized platters of tacos and burritos and enchiladas, all swimming in a lake of melted cheese. I don’t care. I love Mexican food so much—even so-so Mexican food—that I’m happy with my chile relleno and eat every last bite, right down to the stem, while a pair of black birds sit on top of the chair next to me, waiting for me to turn my head so they can steal one of my tortilla chips.

Anyway, I’m sitting there drinking one of those bucket-sized margaritas that you have to sip with a straw because the glass is too big to lift, the misters throwing a fine spray over the patio, when the woman at the table next to me starts up a conversation with the couple beside her. She tells them she’s a realtor, from Las Vegas, here for some convention, and wonders if the couple knows of any place good where she might have dinner tonight.

Why, yes, the couple says, they do. “Our favorite restaurant out here is the eye-talian place at the Desert Springs Marriott,” says the gal who, although she could easily be a contestant on The Biggest Loser is wearing denim shorts and a bikini top.

How can this be—not the outfit so much, but the restaurant recommendation? How can these people be local and be sending this woman to Ristorante Tuscany?

The guy she is with, who could also be on The Biggest Loser, nods his head in agreement and says, “It’s really incredible. It’s better eye-talian food than you’ll get in Italy.” Then he chuckles and looks at the woman beside him. “Not that, you know, we’ve ever been to Italy, but you know what we mean.”

The Vegas realtor thanks them for their recommendation and then asks the couple what they do out here in the desert.

The plus-size woman says she has a fortune-telling shop in Cathedral City. “Tarot cards, that kind of thing. I do spiritual readings, chakras, body balancing.”

The Vegas realtor asks her what the name of her place is.

“The Spiritual Wellness Center. I specialize in mind and body wellness. Holistic healing from the inside out. You should come by. I’ll give you a free reading.”

Mind and body wellness from these two. Imagine.



  1. Sonia Rodriguez’s avatar

    LOL…now, now David….Apparently ppl are paying for it. Because they are eating out alot…lol

    Smiles….sorry MIA…

  2. David’s avatar

    I know, I’m been snarky. But you should have been there.

  3. Sonia Rodriguez’s avatar

    Nah I trust ya…Snarky happens. Ive been places and been like ok was it Laundry day and thats why you left the house like that?…Sadly enough ppl have lost respect for themselves and others also. I would of thought the same thing LOL. So snarky is ok its when you become snarky/cynical of everyone and everything. You are not like that in your writings, I had a very good laugh over it. Wondering wow can I even picture your expression during that conversation.


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