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“I’m not a follower of the vegan lifestyle in any way, but after taking a bite of Chef Tanya’s Kitchen’s “El Cubano” sandwich, I almost converted.
At Chef Tanya’s the ham for the Cubano is substituted with seitan -- a wheat protein that, marinated the “Tanya way,” provides an exquisite alternative. For owner Tanya Petrovna, the eatery represents a return to the Coachella Valley food scene after founding, and later leaving, Native Foods Cafe.
You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this restaurant located in Palm Springs’ industrial area. Just give that Cubano a try and get back to me.”
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"This plant-based take-away spot is in an inconspicuous location in an industrial area, but this does not stop it from having a continuous line during lunch hour. This place will have vegans and non-vegans alike raving about every single bite."
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“The real standouts here are the hot pressed sandwiches. My two favorites are the Cubano and the Chupacabra. Trust me: you will be back for either of them. Both sandwiches are made with seitan, on crusty rolls that stand up to the other tasty ingredients.”
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"If you want to learn just how mainstream a meatless diet has come, ask longtime Palm Springs resident Tanya Petrovna. When she opened her first vegetarian restaurant in town back in 1990, she didn’t even include the word 'vegetarian' in the name for fear of scaring off potential customers. She later founded the vegan chain Native Foods and, more recently, opened the doors to her plant-based paradise known as Chef Tanya’s Kitchen.
The counter-service spot hidden within an industrial neighborhood started as a deli with little seating but has morphed into a lunchtime gathering spot. Tanya’s fabled housemade seitan is the base for hearty sandwiches, and there are lots of colorful salads, daily specials including tacos on Tuesdays, rotating soups, and ever-changing agua frescas. You can also grab deli salads like Moroccan-roasted cauliflower or eggless egg salad to go along with jars of her addictive cashew-based crack cheese."
VIDEO: Chef Tanya Petrovna
"Chef Tanya Petrovna has one mission: to make vegan food taste good."
Check out the video above to hear more from Petrovna about her approach to vegan food, sourcing ingredients and more.
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“Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, which opened its doors earlier this summer, is more than a restaurant. For Petrovna, it is a triumphant return to the Coachella Valley food scene. For patrons, it's the source for that healthy and delicious plant-based dining option they’ve been asking for. And for everyone involved, it is a fun and friendly breath of fresh air.”
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“When done right, a Cuban sandwich is one of my favorite foods. Chef Tanya’s version subs out the usual ham and pork for slow-roasted citrus and garlic seitan, and while I can’t say the seitan made me forget about the absence of those meats, it made for a damn tasty sandwich. It melded with the tomatoes, pickles, onions, lettuce, mustard, mayo and freaking amazingbread to create a hot-pressed delight.”
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“It’s the definition of hidden gem: a takeout place buried within an industrial complex touting creative plant-based fare created by a legit chef in a town lacking in vegan eateries. Got all that? Inside her deli/lunch counter, Tanya Petrovna (the original founder of vegan chain Native Foods) offers rotating deli salads including eggless egg salad; Moroccan-spiced cauliflower with sweet potato and chickpeas; and a pepita-spiked creamy cabbage slaw along with sandwiches like a pinto bean-and-seitan Mexican torta. The kitchen stays open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays to offer a vegan dinner entree with sides, and you can also buy packages of housemade sliced seitan and jars of her nut-based “crack cheese” any day of the week.”
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"We love the Chupacabra Chicken sandwich (thinly sliced seitan filets, avocado, cilantro, house-pickled jalapenos, lettuce, roasted tomato, onion, chipotle mayo on a torpedo roll), or try one of the many deli salads, like the Moroccan Chop (local sweet potatoes, cauliflower, chick peas, parsley, red onion, Moroccan vinaigrette, currants, almonds, Flying Disc dates, green olives)."