My, what a wonderful discovery!! After a fine drive through the Joshua Tree National Park we sought a place for lunch in 29 Palms, CA. We always prefer either Ma and Pa Cafes for potentially wonderful lunches and pies made locally; or small, hometown cafes with local flavor instead of chain style restaurants. Driving down the highway through town we spotted a small homey looking place with a Gino's Cafe sign. Much to our big surprise we discovered the cafe was exceptionally elegant inside and were warmly greeted by Gino, who, along with his brother, the chef, had only 16 months ago moved from Genoa, Italy, where they had several restaurants.
The tables were set with a formal feel to them, matching the elegance of the dining room. Gino waited on our table himself and we quickly engaged in a long, pleasant and informative conversation. The food was served with a flair; we had our own water bottle, outstanding lunch faire (Nancy's was spaghetti and mine a chicken sandwich), and a delectable cheesecake which we shared for lunch. Gino goes to L.A. weekly to pick up his own supplies. His brother is a fine chef who demands perfection as he prepares the food. Diners come from as far away as Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs for the food served by Gino. We were sorry not to be able to stay for dinner, as it surely would also be just as wonderful as the lunch!! This cafe is a gem in the desert, one to be relished and savored as a great discovery and real Italian treat for the palate!!
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