What: The French onion soup
Where: Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar and Grill, 301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 200, Palm Springs
How much: $3.95 for a cup; $6.95 for a bowl
Contact: 760-318-3960; www.bongojohnnys.com
Why: It’s delicious, pure and simple.
Before I begin extolling the deliciousness of the French onion soup at Bongo Johnny’s, I should explain that this restaurant holds a special place in my heart.
You see, Bongo Johnny’s supports many of the same causes I do—the Desert AIDS Project, for example, via Dining Out for Life. It’s also an active member of the Desert Business Association (of which I am on the board) and even one of the primary sponsors of my softball team. (Go Palm Springs Heat!) Therefore, I was crushed when an early-morning kitchen fire on March 7 of last year shuttered the restaurant—and, due to a dispute with the landlord over the rebuild, forced it to move several blocks northwest, to the space most recently occupied by Café Europa/jusTapas.
In the nearly 10 months that Bongo Johnny’s was closed, I missed it … and I especially missed one menu item—the French onion soup.
Bongo Johnny’s isn’t known for fancy fare—it features the burgers, sandwiches and breakfast items one would expect from something called a “patio bar and grill”—but its kitchen also produces some items that go well beyond standard bar fare. For example, the macaroni-and-cheese options are among the town’s best … and then there’s the French onion soup. Served with melted cheese and a crostini, as it should, this soup is simply delicious. It’s rich, packed with fresh onions and perfectly seasoned.
On my first visit to the reopened Bongo Johnny’s—for a softball team meeting, actually—the first thing I ordered was the French onion soup. When it was brought to the table and placed in front of me, I couldn’t help but smile … because one of my favorites was back.