A bowl of yum.

What: Tortilla soup

Where: John’s Restaurant, 900 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $7.95

Contact: 760-327-8522; www.toasttab.com/johnsps/v3

Why: It’s warm deliciousness.

When I thought of John’s Restaurant before my recent visit, good and inexpensive food came to mind. So did ordering at the counter … a great old-school diner vibe … competent if not exceedingly friendly service … and the experience of dining at a Palm Springs institution.

All those things still come to mind after that aforementioned visit—and now, so does surprisingly fantastic tortilla soup.

I met my friend and colleague Dennis there for a recent weekday lunch. He was craving chicken salad; I was craving breakfast. (This is not unusual; I am always craving breakfast.) Since John’s offers both of these things, it was a perfect fit. As we ordered, I made the last-minute decision to add on a bowl of tortilla soup—and boy, am I glad I did.

My biscuits-and-gravy breakfast was just fine; Dennis’ chicken-salad sandwich was OK. My soup was the undisputed highlight of the meal (other than the conversation, of course).

Tortilla soup is one of my absolute favorites; if it’s on a restaurant menu, chances are, I’m going to order it. Far too many tortilla soups aren’t actually tortilla soups, though; instead, they’re hearty chicken soups, with the only real tortilla element being fried tortilla pieces thrown on as a garnish.

John’s version, however, was tortilla soup. Pieces of chicken joined various veggies (onions, pepper, etc.) in a tomato-y, tortilla-y broth, all of which was topped with cheese and the requisite fried tortilla pieces. It was perfectly seasoned—and offered welcome warmth on a cooler-than-usual January day.

John’s Restaurant has always been a fine option for a budget-friendly, no-frills, decent meal. I am happy to now know it’s a fine option for one of my favorite soups as well.

Avatar photo

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...