Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

What: The Meatloaf Sandwich Meal

Where: The Desert Queen. 35400 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City

How much: $10.99

Contact: 442-615-0344;

Why: It mended my broken heart.

When the server came to take my order, she broke my heart.

My heart was set on having biscuits and gravy. I’d seen a couple of online raves about this down-home dish at The Desert Queen, a new Southern-style restaurant in Cathedral City, and as lunchtime approached, biscuits and gravy sounded freaking amazing. So I put The Desert Queen’s address in my GPS, and off I went.

After I arrived and seated myself, I perused the menu and instantly spied what my heart desired: the biscuit and sausage-gravy meal ($11.99). Then the server came to take my order. I said what I wanted; she politely pointed at a line on the menu my eyes had heretofore not seen: BREAKFAST ENDS AT 11 A.M.

It was 11:46 a.m.

As my heart sank, I looked over the handful of lunch options. I quickly selected the meatloaf sandwich (which came with a drink and a side; I chose coffee and the homemade chili, respectively).

After my order came, I poked at the chili before unenthusiastically taking a bite of the sandwich. As I chewed … my broken heart began to take notice.

I took another bite. The meatloaf was dense enough to stand up to being inside a sandwich, while being neither dry nor greasy. It tasted great, and the wheat bread was perfect for such a sandwich: It was crispy on the outside, but still soft enough on the inside to hold things together. The word that comes to mind when I think about each bite is pleasing.

By the time I finished my meal, my heart was no longer broken; the delicious meatloaf sandwich had mended it. That’s not to say I wasn’t still craving biscuits and gravy … but I was OK with waiting to have that on my next visit to The Desert Queen.

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: The biscuits and gravy

Where: Sunshine Café, 36815 Cathedral Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $6.35; $3.85 half-order (pictured)

Contact: 760-328-1415;

Why: OMG it’s yummy!

The website brags: “Sunshine Cafè is frequented by celebrities, politicians, word-of-mouth visitors from around the world and mostly our wonderful locals.”

If one is uninitiated, that boasting may seem a little, well, crazy when you drive up to this slightly weather-beaten dinner that sits across the street from a dive gay bar on the industrial outskirts of what city leaders euphemistically call “downtown Cathedral City.” But once you walk in and experience the food at Sunshine Café, you’ll realize this place backs up that brag.

The clean and homey diner offers all sorts of amazing fare. The chicken fried steak gets rave reviews, as do the banana nut pancakes. The Mexican omelette was given a shout-out by Suzanne Somers in one of her books, for whatever that’s worth.

However, on one recent Sunday, none of those other treats mattered much, as I was on a mission: I was craving biscuits and gravy—and Sunshine Café has biscuits and gravy.

Really freaking good biscuits and gravy, that is.

The biscuits are fluffy and flavorful, but the crucial component is what goes on top: Sunshine Café’s version of the white gravy, that diner staple, includes little bits of meat, and is simply delicious. The texture is right, too: It’s not chalky like some flour-based gravies can be; instead, it’s smooth and creamy.

You can get a full order of biscuits and gravy or a half order; in an effort to be somewhat less gluttonous, I went with the half order. That was a mistake: After I finished, I really, really wanted more. It took an amazing amount of self-control for me not to pick up the plate and lick it clean.

Sunshine Café has made frequent appearances on local “Best Of” lists over the years. Once you try the food there, you’ll instantly understand why.

Published in The Indy Endorsement