Wilma & Frieda’s Café
Home-style cooking mixed with a modern twist on Grandma’s comfort classics like Marion Blackberry Vanilla Custard French Toast, Wilma & Frieda Pop Tarts, and Short Rib Eggs Benedict are among the items Kelly McFall, CEO and Co-Owner of Wilma & Frieda’s Café, recommends at her El Paseo eatery, located within The Gardens in Palm Desert.
Named after her maternal and paternal grandmothers, Wilma and Frieda, who influenced McFall in the art of cooking and in the creation of her menu, the family-owed restaurant boasts an impression list of dishes for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
“There are two ways we look at creating recipes. One is taking things that were familiar to your childhood and making them more adult-friendly and better. The other thing is taking things you would normally have for dinner and making them more approachable for breakfast,” says McFall.
Examples of this can be seen in their Eany, Meany, Miney, and Mo’ breakfast options, featuring eggs any style with your choice of potatoes, fruit, or greens, as well as your choice of toast, a house-made biscuit or an English muffin. This can also be seen in their Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict, which is part of the daily specials and showcases poached lobster and filet mignon on an English muffin, or their Griddled Meatloaf and Eggs, a house favorite that will leave you coming back for more, according to McFall.
“It’s a fun, comforting experience. It’s a little bit of a slice of home when you’re away from home,” shares McFall on the experience customers receive when visiting the restaurant.
Tip from Cin: Try the Wilma & Frieda Pop Tarts for breakfast appetizers – all of them – Triple Berry, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, and Strawberry – located in the pastry section. Trust me, you will not regret it!
The idea of opening her very own restaurant had been in the works for the last 10-15 years, but finally became a reality in 2013 after relocating from the San Francisco area to Southern California for her job with Peet’s Coffee & Tea, as the Director of Operations. During her time in Northern California, McFall attended The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, developing her foodie side and was a part of the farm-to-table movement.
Seen throughout the restaurant, the style is reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse, feeling rugged, yet inviting to customers, with a soft color palette and fresh potted herbs all around.
“It’s the commitment to ingredients and freshness that makes Wilma & Frieda’s Café different,” explains McFall.
Made-from-scratch English muffins, biscuits and their triple berry jam do not disappoint, in addition to their in-house made bakery treats that include Brandini cheesecake, French toast, and cookies.
As explained by McFall, shopping for local ingredients is very important to her. “It keeps the farms going out here and brings fresher product right to our table now.”
Local ingredients include spices from Savory Spice in Palm Desert, dates from Bautista Family Organic Date Ranch in Mecca, a Wilma & Frieda coffee blend from Koffi in Rancho Mirage, and toffee from Brandini Toffee in Rancho Mirage.
Currently, McFall is looking to expand her current location at The Gardens, with a second restaurant set to open in Palm Springs during Fall 2018.
Visit Wilma & Frieda’s Café, 73575 El Paseo, The Gardens on El Paseo, Palm Desert. Opened Daily for Breakfast & Brunch: 8am-2pm, seven days a week, 760-773-2807.