Fantastic Food with a Touch of Family Lovin’
Written By: Paula Trimble-Familetti Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe
Diners at Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe will enjoy the great food and the spectacular views but they may miss the delightful family that owns and runs the restaurant. Kreg Alexander, manager, is the brother of Kelly McFall whom he credits with the vision for the restaurant. From the paint colors to the consignment store finds of a beautiful antique wine bar functioning as a server station and the magnificent photo of the inside of the Los Angeles’ Union Station. Mom is there, too offering a warm greeting and a coffee refill. Pictures of grandmothers Wilma and Frieda grace the walls of the entry. Tonka toys Kreg and his brother played with as children and an egg scale that belonged to their grandfather further suggest honoring the family.
The menu at Wilma & Frieda’s has been described as, “Comfort food with a twist.” English muffins, biscuits, pop tarts, pastries, jams and pickles are all made in-house. The bakery case boasts a large selection of gluten free pastries among other delectable offerings. The eggs are 100 percent natural, cage free, no hormones added. The siblings were inspired by their family, who cooked together and the food they ate as kids. Their father was a firefighter and Kreg remembers two frying pans on the stove. In one, the bacon sizzled, in the other sausage fried. When the meat was done, eggs were cooked in the bacon fat and gravy was made from the sausage drippings.
Complementing their delicious food is Kreg’s unique Bloody Caesar mix. He designed it by experimenting with different flavors to create a spicy, fresh, light version of the classic brunch favorite. Although Kreg says his Bloody Caesar goes great with everything on the menu, he particularly likes to pair it with the filet and eggs or the short rib and eggs Benedict. The mix is soon to be marketed under the Woodbury label, in honor of family members who came to California from Iowa and established the Woodbury House and Christmas Tree Lane in Pasadena, California.
Native Californians, Kreg and Kelly often teased that they were going to open a restaurant together. After Kelly moved to the Coachella Valley she saw a niche for a restaurant dedicated to brunch. Kreg took his retirement and was, “all in.” Describing their working relationship as, “fun” and like a, “good marriage” they share the same goals, the same direction and a love for what they are creating. They listen to each other and believe that if they take care of their staff, many of whom have been with them from the beginning, the staff will take care of the customers.
Initially the pair made a conscious decision not to advertise. Situated off the street, upstairs, in the back of The Gardens on El Paseo was a challenge they had to overcome. “We wanted people to know we were here by word of mouth. We wanted to embrace the input of our diners and for them to feel this was their secret place.”
Both Kelly and Kreg are generous with their praise and encouragement of other restaurants in the Coachella Valley. Kelly says she would like people to experience the whole Coachella Valley as a culinary hub. “The better the restaurants we have here, the better as a dining destination. More great places, more people dining.”
As they contemplate the future, a new sight in Palm Springs is a possibility. They intend to market their Bloody Caesar mix and encourage their brother, who is currently a pilot fighting fires with Cal Fire, to join the business.
Wilma & Frieda Cafe
73-575 El Paseo, Ste C2310
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe Serves Up Delicious Meals to Remember