On a recent trip to Palm Springs, we were looking for a place to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and we landed on Paul Bar/Food. We had never heard of it, but the menu looked good. The location was a little way off the main drag in a strip mall which we assumed wouldn’t have the charm of being downtown, but as long as the food was good, then who cares.
With our nine-year-old daughter in tow, we pulled up to maybe the worst strip mall in the area. I looked at Lindsey like she was crazy and couldn’t believe she suggested this place. There was no way I was bringing my daughter in there, and while I have been in some grungy places, I wasn’t sure it was a spot I wanted to spend time in either. With a simple sign that read Bar/Food and curtains drawn over the windows, my mind quickly went to a pretty horrible scene inside.
I was ready to get back in the car and drive off, but Lindsey suggested I poke my head in just to see. It did have good reviews, she argued. I figured she was sending me to my demise but agreed to take a look. Opening the door, I entered a completely different world. An incredible wood bar ran towards the back of the small space filled with people enjoying cocktails. A small row of tables lined the wall on the other side, all taken except for one four-top. Greeted by the owner, he said he could sit us right now.
Stunned, I went out and waived my friend and family in. As we sat there getting impeccable service and eating delicious food, my daughter nonchalantly said, “I guess that’s why you don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Obviously, this is an age-old lesson but one that’s easy to forget as we view the world through our judgmental eyes. This was a great reminder to flip past the cover because you never know what great stories, experiences, or opportunities lie behind. If you find yourself in the Palm Springs area, do yourself a favor and check out Paul Bar/Food. Be sure to get there early; by the time we left, there wasn’t an empty seat in the place, and there was a line out the door serving as this book’s cover.