How often do you get to have a great meal and do a good deed all at once? Well, come Thursday, April 27, you can “Make One Meal Matter” when more than 60 Palm Springs Valley restaurants (including a handful in Rancho Mirage proper) take part in the annual national benefit Dining Out For Life and host more than 10,000 diners in a strong show of support for Desert AIDS Project, the award-winning AIDS service organization that—in addition to supplying free HIV testing to all throughout the Palm Springs Valley and beyond—serves more than 3,600 clients who live in either Riverside or San Bernardino Counties.
Since 1991, the popular Dining Out For Life campaign has set aside one day a year—historically, the last Thursday in April—where patrons across the U.S. and Canada can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with family and/or friends (while giving back) at participating restaurants who’ve agreed to donate at least 33% of their food, beverage, and liquor gross sales to support local AIDS service organizations. Quite a few esteemed establishment even agree to contribute 100% of their daily and nightly takes! D.A.P. has been a beneficiary of the program for 12 years, and in 2016 alone saw more than $200,000 raised by residents and visitors on its behalf. Each eatery that joins the program is staffed from opening to closing with special Dining Out For Life volunteer ambassadors who express their gratitude to patrons and answer questions.
The big news this year is that—thanks to the efforts of D.A.P.’s Associate Director of Community Development Steven Henke, Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Samantha Tweddell, and its Chairman Jack Srebnik—our fair city has more than doubled its number of participating establishments. For 2017, The Slice N.Y. Style Pizzeria Ristorante (www.theslicepizza.com), Maracas Mexican Cantina & Grill (www.maracas-restaurant.com), Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant (www.catalanrestaurant.com), Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club (www.bernies.club), and the new The Fox & Fiddle (www.foxandfiddlecalifornia.com) have agreed to get in on the giving.
So, my dear readers, if you make plans to eat out on April 27, be sure to do so at one of these five local haunts, or at one of the joints listed at //www.diningoutforlife.com/. And if you haven’t made such plans, make them now! Oh, and finally, let the powers-that-be at your favorite Rancho Mirage restaurant to get in on the fun and philanthropy next year. They’ll see that “Bon appétit” never tasted—or felt—so good!