73340 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, CA | Directions 9226033.721843 -116.385324
Best welcome in the Desert and great food/drinks. – Being from Boston, I know good service when I receive it. This place has some of the fairest prices on food and drinks in the Desert and your repeat business is appreciated. I know that someone might have had a bad experience here, but did they come in with a cranky attitude. I have eaten here more times than I can count and I have not had a bad time here. I go in with the attitude that my business is appreciated and it's OK for me to be patient when it is really busy. Yes, I will eat at other places in the Desert, but for some reason I always come back to Magowans. We all know the reason is the welcome you get when you walk in the door.
comfort food is good, but policy about minimum charges is dated, inconsistent, and silly – I took my 85 year old friend to McGowans for a light dinner. It's dark inside, but has always had reliably good comfort-food. We arrived at 5:00, sat at a table in the bar, and each ordered a glass of $6.50 (or $7?) Chardonnay . A server came by and told us that the kitchen didn't open until 5:30, but she would ask the cooks to help us early. That was nice. (We were served at 5:35.) I ordered chicken potpie ($12) and my friend ordered 1/3 ribrack. Her food order came to $7.95. The server told my friend there was an $8.45 minimum food order, and tried to talk her into a larger $12 order. My friend didn't want the $12 ribs so I said I'd pay the 50 cents to match theminimum order so she could have what she wanted. I was not happy. Even though our tab came to $35, and we were in the bar where only two other tables had customers, McGowan's charged the 85 year old woman an extra 50 cents because she did not spend $8.45 on her dinner. The drink order did not apply toward the minimum charge. When I challenged this, I was told that the owner has been in business for twenty years, is very successful, knows what she's doing, and won't budge on her policy. Strangely, the minimum food order charge doesn't apply to people sitting at the bar 5 feet away. But the bar tables are different because (get this justification!) children can sit there. The server said the policy is to discourage splitting orders, which we didn't do. I suggested adding a fee for splitting orders instead, which is understandable - it costs the restaurant to split an order. I was told my comments would be passed on to the owner, and that was the end of that. I will never go back. It's not the money here - it's the principle. This owner has lost perspective. That minimum charge is going to cost her more than it will earn her. She lost a customer, and also perhaps others who read this, over her attitude toward her customers, her stubbornness about a bad policy, and 50 cents.
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