El Gallito

Review by: Michael Stern


In and around Palm Springs, there are plenty of swank restaurants, but few simple places that serve real food at reasonable prices. That is why we were thrilled to find a pretty little café named El Gallito by the side of the road in Cathedral City. Here is a broad menu of mostly familiar Mexican dishes such as tacos, chilies rellenos, enchiladas, and burritos. In our experience, they are all good, but we are especially fond of such daily specials as carnitas (shredded pork) every Thursday, chicken mole (Friday) and menudo (Saturday).

We also like El Gallito’s chilies. They are California style, meaning not fire-hot, and they are mighty tasty: either chili Colorado, which is bite-size pieces of beef in a peppery red sauce, or chili verde, which is beef cooked with green peppers, onions and shreds of tomato. The “El Gallito Especial” is a half-and-half plate of both kinds of chili – what New Mexicans know as Christmas – green and red, side by side.

El Gallito is outfitted in traditional Mexican-restaurant décor (serapes, sombreros, velvet paintings) and operates according to many rules posted throughout the dining room and written in the menu – some serious, some silly. A placard hanging over the dining room notes: If you have reservations, you are at the wrong place. A sign in the entryway advises: WE ARE NOT A BAR. Beer/wine is only served to those who dine with us. Furthermore, be advised that there is a limit of three drinks per customer, and persons who seem to have been drinking will not be served.

What To Eat

chicken mole


red and green chili



Chips and Salsa

El Gallito Especial


El Gallito Recipes


What do you think of El Gallito?

One Response to “El Gallito”


February 24th, 2022

This was great. It was torn down to build the casino.


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