I spent the last week of June in Palm Springs, California with four girlfriends. We flew in from Boston, New York and Chicago, reuniting to celebrate a milestone birthday and explore a totally new destination for all of us.
Our flight from Boston landed at LAX at midnight and by 1:00am we were in our rental car with the other girls, cruising up the highway towards Palm Springs. We pulled into the driveway of our rental house just after 3:00am and we all crashed into our beds.
When we woke up a few hours later, we had only one thing on our minds: breakfast.
We hopped in the car and zipped over to Cheeky's, a breakfast and brunch spot that had been recommended to us by many family members and friends, as well as the property managers for our rental house. Those same people who raved, also warned us that the line could be very long and we should be prepared to wait.
We were overjoyed when the hostess said she thought we could be seated in 15 minutes. The trip was off to an excellent start.
When our name was called, we were escorted to a large table on the outdoor patio. Our chairs were right below the misters, a genius cool down tactic we'd come to discover at several other local bars and restaurants. The misters go off every few minutes, providing necessary relief from the desert heat.
We settled in and started to peruse the menu, which had fantastic food and beverage choices.
All the ladies ordered ice coffee, but I went for a Bloody Mary (not pictured, the three other ice coffees around the table).
After a few sips, the friend across from me said, "This tastes like coffee ice cream and I love it."
The Bloody Mary was, unfortunately, a massive disappointment. It was crazy spicy, likely due to the jalapeño slices floating in the drink (with the seeds still in!). The liquid also had a very strong lemon taste, which was unwelcome.
Given how crowded the patio was and the line forming on the sidewalk, we were shocked how quickly our food arrived.
Next to me, a friend had ordered the heirloom tomato tartine with arugula, bacon, fried eggs and lemon aioli. We all expected some type of quiche or puff pastry situation and were shocked to see something that looked like avocado toast land in front of her. She asked the waitress, "Is this the tartine?" She replied, "Yes, tartine is French for open face sandwich." We all started laughing so hard at our ignorance. The tale of the tartine would resurface many more times throughout the trip.
After a few bites, I asked for her opinion. She shared, "Well, when our waitress placed the dish in front of me, I was sure it wasn't my order. I didn't realize this would really be more like a loaded toast. That said, it was amazing. The lemon aioli bound everything together. Pretty sure I am going to lick my plate at the end."
Next to her, another friend was digging into the huevos rancheros, topped with sour cream and guacamole.
As she cut through the crispy tortilla, she griped, "Overall, this is pretty underwhelming. Without the sauce, the dish has no flavor. With the sauce, each bite is too spicy."
She also ordered a single corn cake on the side (which I opted not to photograph), though it turned out to be her favorite element of the meal. She declared, "This corn cake is one of the best breakfast items I've ever had. It was very light and naturally sweet. It didn't even need syrup."
Speaking of syrup, we noticed the cute cottage-shaped container right away and couldn't help but chuckle that we flew all the way to California to use Vermont maple syrup!
Across the table, our birthday girl was enjoying a plate of gluten-free waffles. In between bites she paused to say, "These are delicious. They are much more dense than a classic Belgian waffle, but taste so yummy with the salted butter on top."
To her right, a friend was enjoying the custard cheesy scrambled eggs with bacon and a cheddar scone.
She shared, "The custard eggs are the best part. The bacon isn't super flavorful and while the scone is yummy, it actually tastes more like a savory biscuit."
I went with the herb omelet, which was stuffed with boursin cheese and served with an asparagus and cherry tomato salad.
Can we talk about the amount of cheese inside this bad boy? I didn't mind it one bit.
While we were all chowing down on our individual dishes, we also split two orders of what Cheeky's calls sticky taters. These are tater tots tossed in hoisin sauce and garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.
We were obsessed with these. One friend commented, "This feels like all the flavors you love when eating sushi." The combination was so unexpected, yet addictive. The best part? Easy to recreate at home.
We arrived at Cheeky's with high expectations and they did not disappoint! If you have a trip to Palm Springs in the works, you have to make time to eat breakfast or brunch here. Bring me back some sticky taters.