There are plenty of tasty treats to try in Palm Springs, but nothing hits the spot quite like the classic childhood dishes Grandma used to make. Whether it was meatloaf and mashed potatoes or hearty helpings of creamy mac and cheese, those comfort food classics can still take you right back to the family table with just one bite. Luckily, you can now enjoy the highlights of your childhood re-imagined for your adult palate at the newly opened Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe in Palm Desert.
Restaurant specials include the Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict — Photo courtesy of Wilma & Frieda's Cafe
Set on the second floor of The Gardens on El Paseo, Wilma & Frieda’s is a chic and casual diner with a simple yet powerful concept: deconstruct comfort food dinners to dish out inventive takes that bring familiar flavors to adventurous appetites.
The new venture is the brainchild of owner Kelly McFall, a self-described food groupie (having rubbed elbows with countless celebrity chefs, and boasting an impressive collection of signed cookbooks). She drew inspiration for the concept – and the name – from her grandmothers: Wilma and Frieda.
McFall’s family recipes pair with creations by Chef Chad Spears at Wilma & Frieda’s, where everything from canned strawberry jams to buttery biscuits are made from scratch. A breakfast and lunch joint, Wilma & Frieda’s offers a menu that starts with the familiar basics (egg combos, pancakes and hamburgers, for starters) and raises the creative factor the further down the menu you venture.
Breakfast is taken to the next level at Wilma & Frieda's — Photo courtesy of Wilma & Frieda's Cafe
One such dish is the meatloaf, which brings a take on McFall’s grandmother’s meatloaf to the breakfast table with eggs, a choice of potatoes, fresh greens or fruit and your choice of bread. And for lunch? Dig into a grown-up mac and cheese, made with Old Amsterdam gouda, ricotta, cream cheese, jack and gruyere.
Extra-adventurous eaters should seriously contemplate the daily specials, announced on a roll of butcher paper that’s torn away just as soon as these limited plates sell out. Here, McFall and Chef Chad let loose with the wilder sides of their culinary imaginations, playing with fresh farmers market finds and dinner favorites to test new possibilities for menu additions.
One of the most wildly popular specials to date is the Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict, which features a petit filet and fresh lobster with poached eggs and house-made hollandaise over freshly made English muffins.
Wilma & Frieda's serves its own roast from Koffi — Photo courtesy of Wilma & Frieda's Cafe
Even if you’re just popping in for coffee and a pastry, your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised. Wilma & Frieda’s serves up its own special blend of coffee from local coffee shop Koffi, which roasts fresh beans at its Rancho Mirage location.
And the perfect pairing for such a fine cuppa Joe? An indulgent selection from the impressive pastry case, of course. Pastry chef Todd Konkol offers a drool-worthy presentation of cookies, cakes, brownies and other pastries at the coffee bar.
Whether you’re in need of an on-the-go breakfast or the comforting flavors of home, be sure to stop by Wilma & Frieda’s for breakfast or lunch on your next trip to Palm Desert.