First Taste: Cheeky’s


Cheeky’s is pretty much exactly what Palm Springs needs in the way of a lunch spot. Bright and airy in that California way, with seating both inside and out, it fits precisely into the difficult-to-fill niche between too formal and too boring. The setting is a little spare, it’s true, and if you eat outside you’re right next to the street, but the vibe is super-friendly, and the orange plastic chairs are cool, comfortable, and a lot more solid than they look.

Most importantly, the menu is sophisticated and inventive in a way that more conventional lunch joints don’t even approach. It’s pretty hard not to like a place that offers both waffles stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon (just as decadent, delicious, and filling as they sound) and a sandwich of grilled persimmon, Brie, prosciutto, and watercress (clean and refreshing, with an undercurrent of floral sweetness). I mean, when was the last time you had a persimmon sandwich? Not to mention that they offer “flights” of bacon—samples of five different varieties of today’s single most popular food—and have a decent wine list. Come to think of it, this may be the type of lunch place every city needs.

Cheeky’s 622 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA (760-327-7595;

Subscribe to Gourmet