Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cheeky's - Palm Springs, CA

Eggs Benediction: A Tale of Redemption

Apparently pigs can fly. The “flight of bacon”, a tasting of four to five, homemade and ever-changing varieties (i.e. jalepeno, applewood, double cut, maple), was the first sign Cheeky’s was going to surpass any expectations we had about breakfast.

This “diminamilist” (= diminutive + minimalist) space used its spit-spot slate of white walls and concrete floors to ensure that their larger-than-life quality of art, staff and food could shine all the brighter. Details like squat-sized condiments were charming, as was our pixie-like waitress, Colby, along with touches like St. Germain in the champagne and a Bloody Mary served in a glass boot (including accessories like the spiciest pickle known to man).

With a menu that changes weekly (fresh & seasonal reigns here), I agonized over ordering the egg/BLT (or what I like to call the “BELT”) with heirloom tomatoes and aioli or eggs benedict. I’d been let down by the latter several times and started labeling it, “eggs Benedict Arnold” since I often felt betrayed by one or many aspects of the dish: soggy English muffin, rubbery meat, broken hollandaise, overcooked eggs – there was just so much that could go wrong. But Colby insisted if I had ever been a fan of benedict, I needed to try this one.

The outcome?

And this is why…
HOMEMADE cheddar scone vs. English muffin
HOMEMADE bacon vs. Canadian bacon
HOMEMADE hollandaise vs. broken/watered-down/congealed/package hollandaise
Sautéed arugula vs. nothing

Every bite, I moaned…and everyone around me understood. The scone stood solid with enough cheddar to counter the spicy bitterness of arugula. The bacon in one word, extraordinary. And if there was a definition for flawless hollandaise in the dictionary - def. 1. a rarity in the restaurant world 2. the norm at Cheeky’s.

I danced in my seat a little to celebrate the miracle I had just swallowed. With renewed faith, I realized there were still righteous benedicts out there after all! Amen to that.

HOMEMADE maple/sage sausage also had me singing its praises and I counted my blessings that I got a bite of Bubba’s heuvos rancheros before he finished them off in a matter of minutes. The Peruano "magic" beans pureed atop gave a new twist to an old favorite. And even though I was stuffed, my eyes followed the brioche French toast with fresh nectarine compote and I was already thinking about the cheddar/bacon waffle I hoped to order next time.

Come for the flight of bacon. Stay for everything else. I don’t have one bad thing to say about this place: clean, friendly, inventive, local fare, fresh ingredients, homemade delicacies…and on a more personal note - epiphany, educing eggs benedict.

No comments: