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Le Petit Dejeuner: Soul Food with a Side of Pancakes

Restaurateur Tina Motley is no stranger to dishing up delicious bites. The successful entrepreneur opened her first eatery, Le Petit Dejeuner, in 2015 in Detroit to great fanfare. Now she’s bringing her southern flavors and home-cooked goodness to the Valley with Le Petit Dejeuner’s second location. Recently renovated in the space that was once Yiannis Greek Taverna, the restaurant’s interior is reminiscent of New Orleans and nods to its French flair where it first got its name. 

The inspiration behind the restaurant’s name came to Motley during a serendipitous encounter with a student from Paris who stayed with her family. While Motley’s bilingual children conversed fluently in French, she asked her young guest how to say “breakfast” in the language of love. As soon as she heard the words “le petit dejeuner,” Motley knew she had found the perfect name for her second culinary venture.

Upon meeting Motley recently, it’s clear right away how much she takes pride in her food and enjoys cooking for her customers. It’s her desire to bring soul food to the Valley and a wish to be closer to her daughter in California that first inspired Motley to open up her second restaurant on East Palm Canyon Drive. 

The restaurant serves breakfast daily and soul food Thursday to Sunday. The heart of Le Petit Dejeuner lies not only in its diverse menu but also in its concept of family-style dining. Motley wanted to offer guests an array of dishes, just like her family gatherings, where everyone shares their favorite breakfast recipes. The menu includes everything from fluffy buttermilk pancakes and indulgent German chocolate waffles to build-your-own omelets and mouth-watering caramelized banana French toast.

For its soul food options, there’s everything like you’d expect. The menu boasts and arry of soulful classics like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and mouth watering ribs, mac and cheese, smoked turkey, mixed greens and baked beans. 

A specialty menu item is a tribute to Motley’s late Auntie Glo Aikens and her cherished corn pancakes. When we stopped in, Motley invited us to watch her make this popular breakfast item. On our visit she invited us to observe her making one of their most popular breakfast dishes. While she won’t divulge her secret recipe, she does recommend trying them first with melted butter without syrup, then with the syrup. Customers will agree that they are some of the best pancakes in the valley.

Motley’s dedication and love for her craft are evident in every aspect of Le Petit Dejeuner. The restaurant exudes a warm ambiance where guests are invited to embrace the spirit of family-style dining, and create cherished memories. Here it’s truly a family affair for Motley, with loved ones working alongside her in the restaurant. Her mother, Pat Brown, offers unwavering support, and her best friend, Latrice “Triecy” Hudson, is the talented “grill master” behind the mouthwatering ribs. Their friendship over three decades is cemented in their shared dedication to bringing joy to the community through their flavorful creations. Their passion for sharing their culinary treasures extends beyond the restaurant’s walls, as they’ve already set up tents to allow curious diners to sample their delectable offerings.

With an eye on expansion, Le Petit Dejeuner has plans in the future to offer catering services and participate as a vendor at local events. Whether you’re craving pancakes or food for the soul, Le Petit Dejeuner is your new go to spot for family friendly fare in the Valley. Bienvenue! 

Le Petite Dejeuner
67-778 E Palm
Canyon Dr
Cathedral City

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