Even More Protein and Taste into Your Breakfast!
Written By: Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti
Photographed By: Amanda Nazzal Wilma & Frieda Cafe
If there were ever an argument for mindful eating, the Short Ribs Benedict at Wilma & Frieda is the perfect argument. You can taste the buttery goodness of the English muffin, made in-house the night before. Enjoy the crispy outside and the airy, almost cake like, inside with just a hint of the smell the popcorn, created from the cornmeal it is dusted with. Take a spoonful of the warm Hollandaise Sauce that is light and lemony with just a little kick at the finish. Savor the short rib meat which is braised for 12 hours in beef broth, red wine and mirepoix, and as owner Kelly McFall describes it, “The holy trinity of onions, carrots, and celery.” This is all blended together and added to the meat, creating a rich, flavorful delicacy. Five ounces of this delicious meat are on every Benedict served. Now sample the fresh, sautéed arugula and the peppery tang of the vegetable. Finally, slide your fork into the constructed Benedict and watch as the rich and golden fresh poached egg mingles with the decadence of the Hollandaise Sauce. Delight in this meal with your senses of sight, smell, and taste.
Chef Chad Spears characterizes himself as, “A man on a mission.” He continuously experiments with what might be considered dinner friendly foods to make them more breakfast friendly. He is not limited by traditional interpretations of classics. A recent eggs Benedict special was constructed of goat cheese polenta in place of the English muffin. Swiss chard, fennel, and leeks substituted for the spinach of traditional eggs Benedict and the dish was finished with a black pepper and kale Hollandaise Sauce.
Spears takes things that are familiar and puts his own twist on them. The feedback allows for him to gauge the popularity and make adjustments.
Interview with Owner Kelly McFall and Chef Chad Spears
Q: How did you and Kelly team up?
Chad Spears: I answered an advertisement on Craig’s List.
Kelly McFall: And I got lucky.
CS: I was impressed at the orientation by the best cup of coffee I ever had.
KF: I didn’t think he was going to show. He was not enthusiastic and would not make eye contact, but his knowledge impressed me.
Q: Why did you decide to make English muffins in house?
CS: Kelly forced me. We had to arm wrestle. (he grins)
KM: Before we opened, vendors told us it would not be possible to make our own English muffins, among other items, on our menu. They gave us packaged items. I went home and made the muffins to see if it could be done and Chad made them better. We make over a thousand muffins each week. We also make 90 pounds of jam per week.
Q: Your food has been described as, “craveable.” What does that mean to you?
CS: Our regulars, people who come back again and again and order the same thing. It feels good to see our regulars and see them often. Craveable food is food you want to come back for.
Q: In your entrance you feature a picture of your Short Ribs Benedict pared with your signature
Bloody Caesar. How do they compliment each other?
CS: The acidity of the drink balances the richness of the Short Ribs Benedict.
KM: Chad knows the taste of ingredients and how they will interact with each other.
Q: Is there anything else you want us to know?
KM: We have a good time doing what we are doing. We spend a lot of time at work and if we are not enjoying it, we shouldn’t be doing it.
Q: Are there restaurants you particularly enjoy?
CS: Venue is the only sushi place I will eat.
KM: I also like Eight4Nine. Both Venue and Eight4Nine pay attention to quality ingredients and freshness.
Finally, Kelly says, “We eat like fat kids on a Tuesday. We are very spoiled here.”
Up and Coming: Kelly and Chad are continually inventing new dishes. Recently Kelly suggested churro waffles with cinnamon sugar and Madagascar vanilla creme anglaise. Chad has created another benedict using spaghetti squash instead of a traditional english muffin. Both say the creations are endless.
Quality Control: The Duroc ham used by Wilma and Frieda’s is leaner and more flavorful. “We never want to serve, “Just food.” It needs to be the freshest, highest quality, with the best care in preparation.
Native Knowledge: Before joining the team at Wilma and Frieda, Chad worked at Tommy Bahamas, and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion.
Wilma & Frieda
73575 El Paseo Ste C2310
Palm Desert, CA 922060
This Short Rib Benedict Will Have You Salivating