What is it about a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie that’s so irresistible? Natalie Keenberg, one of the friendly faces behind the counter at The Sandwich Spot in Palm Springs hits the nail on the head for me: “It’s just nostalgic,” she says. The version at this lunchtime hot spot is one of my favorites. Their approach — a “house secret,” according to Keenberg, from the recipe logs of late owner Corey Saldana, who grew up baking alongside his mother — results in an extra-wide and uniformly slim chocolate-chipper that’s slightly crisp around the edges and perfectly soft and breakable at the center. Though The Sandwich Spot has privately owned locations throughout California, and in Reno, Nevada, you will find Saldana’s cookie only at this outpost. “The cookie is a mainstay, and we make them fresh daily,” Keenberg says. “It’s the perfect size for sharing. Or not sharing.”
The Real Italian Deli, with locations in Palm Desert and Palm Springs, takes an altogether different — but equally delicious — approach. “Our baker makes a really thick cookie,” says manager Jairo Quintanilla Flores. “You’re going to want a glass of milk.” It is taller and thicker than most, which means the center stays doughier. If for some tortuous reason you must resist immediate consumption, that doughy center translates to a cookie that’s still soft the second day.
Like the one at The Sandwich Spot, this crumbly confection often sells out. So take your lunch break early and order an extra if you can.