By Denise Ortuno

Comfortable casual dining, with delicious farm-to-table craft made dishes await you at Heirloom Craft Kitchen in Indio.

One of my favorite restaurants in the Coachella Valley is Cork-n-Fork in La Quinta. So when I heard that the Owner and Executive Chef Andie Hubka opened a second spot, I was eager to explore and devour their food. Needless to say, the new endeavor did not disappoint.

Heirloom Craft Kitchen, located in the Ralphs shopping area off Jefferson and Ave 50 in Indio, is an extension of Hubka’s successful innovative cuisine. The new restaurant opened earlier this year, and offers a menu based on farm-to-table goodness, in a relaxed environment. Guests order their food and beverage at the counter, are provided a number, and then the food is delivered to their table. This dining trend seems to be popping up at other establishments, making for quick and convenient self-service, which is especially efficient for a quick lunch.

For my initial visit to Heirloom, my boyfriend and I decided to pop in for lunch. The restaurant’s ambience greeted us with clean lines in a muted modern style with neutral grays. The counter displayed tempting, quaintly wrapped baked goods for purchase, and was manned by friendly counter servers who were patient as we read the detailed menu. It was difficult to decide what to order, with the only calming resolve being a self-promise to return to try other items. But after scanning the menu a couple of times, I targeted their Crafted Chopped Salad (spinach, bacon, goat cheese, shallots, hazelnuts, citrus vinaigrette, and cranberries) and added a hardboiled egg for added protein. My boyfriend selected the much hardier Heirloom Burger (aged cheddar, house pickles, cabernet onions, shredded lettuce, secret sauce, Brioche Bun) and a side of Truffle Tots (parmesan, fresh herbs, truffle aioli, and ketchup).

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 My Chopped Salad was the perfect refresher for lunch time greens. The salad was lightly dressed, accented by the creamy goat cheese and sweetness of the cranberries. My boyfriend’s juicy burger had all the necessary components for a succession of flavorful bites, with the Tots in toe for crunchy goodness (bite one, crunch two). Taaasstty!! As I ate my salad, I was already looking forward to my next visit and what I would order. Was it going to be the Butter Poached Salmon Toast (basil aioli, shaved cucumber and lemon), Shrimp & Grits (Tasso gravy, andouille sausage, pickled jalapeno and scallions) or Queso Fundido Blanco (goat cheese, smoked Gouda, green chilies, Applewood bacon and house chips)? Ugh…I just don’t know, but it’s not a bad problem to have.

Heirloom’s menu has many other selections, including a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and specialty dishes such as the Shrimp & Grits on my wish list. They also offer Vegan options and a Kids section and even Brunch items such as the Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Orange Compote…Nice!!

The restaurant also offers “adult beverages” to enhance your dining experience, with even a discounted Social Hour Tues-Fri from 3pm to 5:30pm. For those who don’t have time to dine in. their Grab-n-Go case will accommodate, as well as UBEReats for those who want food brought to them.

Heirloom Craft Kitchen gives Coachella Valley foodies one more place to enjoy Hubka’s fantastic farm-to-table fare, in a casual, comfortable setting.

Heirloom Craft Kitchen is located at 49990 Jefferson St, Suite 100, Indio 760-773-2233 www.heirloomcraftkitchen.com