The Food Column: Nothing Yucca About It

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One of my vegan husband Jeff’s and my favorite breakfast/lunch spots while visiting the desert was Cali Green Café in Yucca Valley, a family owned and operated café with good affordable food that was a melting pot of tourists, locals, hikers and everyone in between. With burgers, bowls, salads and yummy breakfasts, Jeff and I would eat there knowing there was something we could both enjoy. Then one day the pandemic hit and after a few months of playing the opening and closing game, then serving food to go, they closed their doors for good. 

We were so sad—just heartbroken. When a locally-owned business in that area closes, it’s a loss for the entire community. They announced for us not to morn them and to expect another fresh and healthy restaurant to open in their place. So, we waited, and waited and waited—well, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait! We (and the community) were rewarded with The Yucca Tree Eatery. We were there their opening week and met the owner who just so happens to be friends with the owners of the previously mentioned Cali Green Café.

The Yucca Tree Eatery has a similar menu, featuring breakfast burritos, organic burgers, sandwiches, salads, bowls and smoothies. So far, I’ve had the Yucca Burger on gluten-free bread with bacon twice. It comes with a side of chips, salad or honeyed sweet potatoes (get those, and ask for a side of their spicy house dressing to dip the sweet potatoes in for extra deliciousness). The yucca burger is a fresh organic beef patty with ketchup, mayo, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese. It’s super juicy, and in my humble opinion by far the best burger in the desert. Jeff likes the veggie wrap, stuffed full of carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, spinach and sprouts with hummus. 

On our most recent visit, Jeff had the conscious salad, with hearts of palms, romaine, spinach, sliced almonds, carrots and tomatoes. It’s a big hearty salad enough for one really hungry person or two to share, but he didn’t. I’m on a chicken sandwich kick at the moment, so I ordered an avocado sprout chicken sandwich and added bacon (because bacon makes everything better) on gluten-free bread with honeyed sweet potatoes and a chocolate almond smoothie I shared. 

We sat outside by a wonderfully scented rosemary bush, the sun was shining, spring was in the air and we commenced to eat.  Really, I mean, what can I say? Dag nab it, it’s good! 

What’s not to like about a succulent, juicy chicken, mayo, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, smoky bacon and melted cheese (just a little cheese), with sweet potatoes dipped in spicey house dressing and a chocolate, banana, almond butter, berry smoothie, full of amazingly yummy chocolat-ey berry goodness on the side? Jeff and I spent the first few minutes totally involved in eating, forgetting about one another until, while reaching for the smoothie at the same time, we bumped hands and looked up in surprise at each other… It’s just that good.  


The Yucca Tree Eatery 57754 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284