Shield’s Date Garden
Address: 80225 US Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201
Phone: (760) 347-0996
Known For: Date Shake
What I had: Date Shake
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Floyd and Bess Shields came to the California desert and started Shields Date Garden in 1924. Since then they’ve been growing dozens of varieties of dates and even making their own versions. They’ve made the “Blonde” date as well as the “Brunette” date which are only grown on their farms. They grow all their dates free of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and here are no preservatives used.
This place is a bit far from “civilization” but am I glad I went out of my way for a Date Shake. I wasn’t sure on their hours and I knew I may run into a problem as it was early and it was Saturday. Turns out they open at 9 am but the gal had the open sign on and the door unlocked when I arrived at 8:30. I asked her if it was alright if I came in and she said “Absolutely!” She asked what I wanted and I told her I’d come all this was way for the famous Date Shake, she got right to working on it.
I must say that it was exceptional. They make it fresh from the dates that are grown directly in back of the store. It was smooth and creamy and had the perfect amount of sweetness. The flavor of the dates came through but was not overpowering. Even if you don’t find yourself a fan of dates I think you will still enjoy this treat. They also have a huge variety of other date and fruit selections from torts, to bars, to dried fruits, breads and tons more.
The gal made my shake and then began setting up a huge array of samples including muffins and breads. They have some 20 odd date varieties and you can sample them all. There was so much to try. They had a date & banana turnover thing that was delicious. She was so friendly and so accommodating.
I would definitely recommend going out of your way to stop in here. It seems like they were renovating and that would explain their “restrooms”. As times move on and the world moves forward roadside gems like this are getting harder and harder to find. Lucky for us Shield’s is still around…and from the looks of it will be for some time.
Aug 29, 2009 @ 7:34