What: The Crispy Boneless Southern Fried Chicken
Where: The Tropicale, 330 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs
How much: $25
Info: 760-866-1952; thetropicale.com
Why: The delicious flavor leads to happy memories.
I went to The Tropicale for the first time back in 2008, shortly after the restaurant opened. I was visiting here from Arizona, doing research for a business plan—a business which would become the publication you’re reading right now, some four-plus years later.
I was immediately smitten with The Tropicale. It felt so … Palm Springs, thanks to the swanky vibe, the amazing patio, the bright colors and so on.
In the years since, The Tropicale has become more than just another restaurant to me: It’s become my default place to celebrate special occasions. Where did we go to celebrate the first print edition of the Independent after we picked it up from the printer? The Tropicale, of course.
I love everything about the restaurant (except, well, the prices; hey, I am a poor, struggling business owner now). However, when it comes to the food, there’s one dish I love more than all others: The crispy boneless fried chicken.
This dish, in a word, is fantastic. The coating is crisp and delicious; the chicken is juicy and packed with flavor. The accompanying corn mashed potatoes add smoothness and earthiness to the plate, while the collard greens bring a welcome briny, chewy element.
This is not the prettiest plate of food; the Iron Chef judges would deduct serious presentation points. However, it’d get a perfect score for taste.
On a personal level, I love this dish for reasons that go beyond its yumminess: It makes me happy, because it’s been a part of numerous wonderful occasions in my life—and I hope it’ll be a part of many other special moments to come.