Omni Burgers and Blues

Omni Hotels’ Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage continues its Taste of Rancho Pop-Up Dinner Series with Burgers & Blues on Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. “Burgers and Blues is the perfect desert experience,” Executive Chef Robert Nyerick told me recently about the event, which goes for $40 per person. “Great music, food, weather, drinks, and friends enjoying the evening together.” Say no more. I’m in!

The menu will start off with salad cones: a Chopped Wedge with bacon, tomato, and blue cheese with Ranch dressing; Macaroni Pasta Salad; and Biel Street Potato Salad.

Then the mini-burger varieties will include a house-ground black angus burger with smoked cheddar, stout-braised short rib with onion bacon marmalade; portabella mushroom with roasted peppers and buratta; lobster crab cake with Cajun remoulade; Moroccan-spiced roasted chicken; and ale-braised pulled pork with ancho slaw.

The condiment bar will feature bacon crumbles, roasted jalapeños, grilled peppers, house-made hot sauce, whole grain mustard, catsup, garlic aioli, house-made pickles, banana peppers, shaved pickled onions, and lettuce chiffonade. There will also be house-made chips served with crumbled blue cheese, smoked sea salt, black lava sea salt, nacho cheese, scallions, and parmesan.

If any of us have room left for dessert, we can feast on red velvet, double chocolate, or vanilla cake pops, or coconut, lemon, pecan, and sweet potato bites.

The cash bar will be a “sky’s the limit” proposition thanks to Rancho Las Palmas’ expert bar staff. And while we can’t vouch for the weather this far in advance, history tells us that late February nights are sublime. No rain in sight. Just a warm breeze early on, and a cozy by the fire pit when night really falls and the air gets just a tad of chill.

The Blues will be provided by the John Stanley King Band. A native son who hails from Indio, King was born into a musical family. Dad played clarinet; Mom, piano. After high school, the boy studied at College of the Desert, studying theatre, band, and choir. While the music man’s career has taken him to the four corners of the country, there’s no place like home, and King loves local gigs best. He will provide lead vocals and play multiple instruments during the evening, and be accompanied by two fellow pros imported from Los Angeles: Norman Merton will be on guitar, and Malcolm Turner on bass.

To find out more about Burgers & Blues at Rancho Las Palmas, call 760-862-4518 or visit www.rancholaspalmas.com.

Oh, and the venue? Part of the fun is that organizers save this surprise for night-of. And if you miss the February incarnation, there’s always the April 28th wine blending, which will feature food paired with Franciscan Estate wines.