Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

What: The giant cinnamon roll

Where: Rick’s Restaurant, 1973 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $5.99

Contact: 760-416-0090;

Why: It’s sweet comfort.

Sometimes, you just need comfort food.

It had been a rough couple days for my friend. His father was recovering from emergency surgery at Desert Regional Medical Center, and my friend wanted to meet somewhere not too far from the hospital for breakfast and a nice chat. I was having a stressful workday, and I was more than happy to take a break and oblige.

I knew exactly where to go: Rick’s Restaurant. It’s long been one of my favorite places to go for a nice, chill breakfast or lunch. It’s not fancy; instead, it’s comfortable and appealing, with friendly service and a menu full of Americana (plus some Cuban favorites as well).

This wasn’t a meal where calorie counts and carb intakes were concerns; we just wanted good, filling, comfort food. We both ordered the chicken-fried steak and eggs … and, of course, we had to split one of Rick’s fresh, house-made cinnamon rolls.

The chicken-fried steak was good. The cinnamon roll was out of this world. It was everything a classic, fresh cinnamon roll should be: sugary, warm and oh-so-pillowy. It was the perfect starter to pick at and enjoy while chatting—with occasional pauses to say “Yum!” or “Wow” in reference to the cinnamon roll.

The breakfast at Rick’s didn’t solve any problems; afterward, my friend needed to go back to the hospital to spend time with and advocate on behalf of his father. I had to go back to the pile of work and annoyances I faced. But for that hour or so … life, genuinely, was good—thanks to a great friendship, a welcoming and unpretentious atmosphere, and the type of delicious, down-home food that only fantastic places like Rick’s Restaurant can offer.

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: The Cubano With Tomato Soup

Where: Zobö and Meester’s, 68703 Perez Road, No. A1, Cathedral City

How Much: $7.99

Contact: 760-832-6104;

Why: It’s comforting and delicious.

The invitation came via email on a Saturday. Bart and Carmen wanted to let me know they’d just opened a new restaurant on Perez Road in Cathedral City.

“Everything is made from scratch. Please come in and give us a try. The community support has been amazing so far,” the email said.

The following Monday, I was hungry and had errands to run in the general vicinity—so I decided to check out this new joint, with the interesting name of Zobö and Meester’s. A little lawn sign out front touted the Cubano sandwich, so I decided that was the thing to try.

When I ordered at the counter, the friendly woman asked which side I wanted. Macaroni, pasta or potato salad? Fries? Coleslaw? Or, even though it was 107 degrees outside, the tomato soup?

Ooh, yes, the tomato soup, I replied. It would give me something in which to dip the sandwich. What a fortuitous decision this was: The combination of the grilled panini and the soup was fantastic.

The sandwich in and of itself was great: The mixture of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and mustard aioli was splendid. The soup in and of itself was also very good: It had a fresh, savory flavor.

But when I put the two together … wow. The soup softened the bread just enough to make it easier on the mouth. The appropriate saltiness of the meat and the tartness of the pickle were balanced by the vegetable flavor of the soup. It was, in sum, comforting and delicious.

Zobö and Meester’s offers waffles (with chicken!), a burrito and bagel sandwiches for breakfast. Lunch offerings include a bunch of sandwiches both hot and cold, as well as salads and a handful of specialty entrees. But we’ll be ordering the Cubano with tomato soup more often than not. You know why.

Published in The Indy Endorsement