By Lisa Morgan
Yelp released its 2015 edition of the top 100 places to eat in the United States, and TKB Bakery & Deli in Indio was named the 4th best place to eat in the country! I don’t know about you, but I had to ask myself, how could a sandwich be that good. Obviously, a lot of people thought so, and took the time to say so on Yelp. There was only one way to know for sure – I had to check it out myself. I brought a few friends along with me. Not just any friends, but hungry friends, who are self proclaimed connoisseurs of the beloved craft of sandwich making.
It was almost 2 o’clock when I walked in and the place was packed. The first sign that this place might be more than hype, was the presence of our local Sheriff Department focused and eagerly at work on a beautiful pair of sandwiches. Joining me, were husband and wife “foodie” team, Eric and Angela Skelton. Jack Kohler, booking manager at the Hood Bar and Pizza also joined us, and with him working at an establishment that has some of the best bar grub in the valley, I knew he’d have a good frame of reference.
Nate (Nathaniel) took our order. I told him to give me his best sandwich. Jack ordered the same. The Skelton’s ordered an egg salad and a TKB Combo sandwich. “We’ve been coming here for over 8 years,” they shared. “We would come at least 4 times a month. We watched these kids (the owners) grow up over the years and it’s been great.” They both enjoyed their meal as they’d done many times before, always consistent and always good. “Fresh meat, fresh bread, fresh attitude,” they smiled. It sure looked good, but I thought to myself, “How good could a sandwich possibly be?”
Then came Jack’s and my sandwiches, hand delivered by their creator. Holy mother of all stackable delicacies! Nathan brought out a sandwich that I could never replicate in 100 years, and I have food building skills of my own! Homemade Cuban pork tenderloin that had a flavor so beautiful and deep, the Dali Llama would be impressed. Nate had built it to perfection with pesto sauce, Italian dressing, mayo, black olives, pepperoncini and Swiss cheese on a fresh, home-baked parmesan cheese roll hot off the panini press. “The pork tenderloin sandwich was out of this world. Nate made it one of a kind for us, fully loaded, Cuban style. TKB nailed it once again!” (Apparently, I was the only one who had yet to discover this absolute gem.)
As good as the sandwiches, breads and desserts may be, there are a couple of ingredients that I think knock this place’s food clean out of the park: Kindness and generosity. The owners and staff are genuine people, with serious skills in making people happy. Whatever fresh hell your day may have handed you, I guarantee that you can walk into that wonderful little factory of happiness and feel refreshed and recharged by the time you leave – or at the very least, ready for a good post gluttony nap.