Palm Spring's Las Casuelas Terraza - Latin Flavor of Night Life
Mexican food & Dancing go well together at this beautiful Downtown Palm Springs Adobe style Restaurant. Las Casuelas Terraza celebrated 20 years of successful operations this past February. Many of the opening day employee's are still working for the same owners, and none of them have any regrets. In fact, there are four Degado family restaurants on the lower desert, all of them serving time honored Mexican cuisine made in the traditional Mexican style, with original recipes borrowed from both families of the owners and there grandmothers.
But they almost didn't make there opening day happen. Two days before opening day, a very rare 4 inch snowfall fell on Palm Springs just as the Delgados were attempting to bring the restaurants furniture and other supplies down from the San Bernardino area. Both of the moving vans and the owners cars got stuck in the Banning area when the CHP closed the 10 freeway because it was to unsafe to travel. Over a foot of snow fell, and black ice had formed on the bridges. 12 hours before the restaurant was due to open, the moving vans arrived and they began to set up, even while the employees were still painting the walls of the main dinning area.
Several other original employees still work for the Delgados. Chef Hector Sanchez was the original kitchen manager, and had a cooking staff of over 20 employees. The Delgados employee over 150 people to work at the 4 different restaurants.. All employees go through an extensive training program before being hired and every so often as new technology makes inroads even into the cooking world employees have to return for update classes. The Delgados pay for all of the training.
Another thing that has not changed over the past 20 years of operating, is the menu. the core menu is still intact, with a few additions along the way. The Delgados make sure every recipe or food item on the menu is authentic and follows the traditions of the family handed down from generation to generation. Patty Delgado one of the original owners and now in her 70's still takes the time to research and developed new recipes from authentic Mexican recipes. She will even stop a plate going out to a customer if she feels it just doesn't look right.
As for the music, and live bands that play on the weekends. The Style of music is called Norte`ndo or conjunto and it is very popular in the southwest US and northern Mexico.. So as soon as you are done eating, you can sit back and enjoy a Corona Light or Texacate brand beer and tap your toes to the flavor of the music. they have a huge dance floor located out by the Palapas Bar where you can sit in the sun and watch the traffic on Palm Canyon slowly pass by. Sometimes it seems that the people passing by are as interested in you eating as you are watching them.
At 11:am when the restaurant opens for business, Mariaches are already winding there way slowly from table to table, playing songs by request or called in. They will play for a few hours then take a break and then play again in the afternoon until a band comes out on stage. If you get there early, Carnitas are served free when you order your food and drinks. And by the way, the Carnitas and the Carne Asada tacos are excellent either alone or with tequila or a ice cold Corona.
The restaurant usually stays open till 11:pm weekdays and till 1am on weekends or even later if there is a large crowd still eating and enjoying the live Mexican band on stage. It seems that about 11pm, is when the ladies will do the Mexican style line dancing as a group playing the more familiar Tejano music is on stage. It is quite a sight to see about 30 to 40 ladies of all ages, two stepping together. All those tight fitting jeans and dresses just do something special to a man if you catch my drift.
Las Casuelas Terraza was voted the Best Mexican Restaurant by desert locals five years in a row. An honor they share with the other three Delgado restaurants. They are ranked 10th in all of California and are also mentioned within the top 100 independent restaurants in the nation in terms of hospitality and sales and a loyal customer base.
Delicious FOOD! Elegant, Romantic, Family Restaurant right on the strip of Palm Springs in Palm Canyon. A beautiful place from inside and the patio covered around a fence of leaves. A cultural like environment with FANTASTIC service. Food top of the line. This is one of my favorite restaurant stops when I am down in the Palm Springs area. When I finished late at either the Palm Springs or Indio Court complexes, I would always make a point of stopping here for my evening meal- and the greatest part of it all is the meals are not so expensive.. I could invite a friend from the courts to come along and not worry about spending to much money between paychecks.
Located at 222 South Palm Canyon, the restaurant was built around an existing older home dating from the 1920s, later used as a real estate office. The owners Ric and Patty Delgato, converted the former residence into a hacienda-style restaurant with murals, a cascading fountain, and open-beamed, trussed ceilings.
The restaurant opens at 11am daily and closes when the music stops and the people are finished eating.