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Thursday, August 16, 2018


A pair of road-weary tourists pulled into a parking lot outside of Si Bon Belgian Restaurant on the Rancho Mirage side of Monterey Avenue (at Country Club Drive). The other side of the street is Palm Desert, CA.

The thermometer on the dashboard read 125 degrees at 4 pm in late July.

The popular breakfast, lunch and dinner house has a contemporary feel and a breezy outdoor patio (when there is a breeze).  Today, however, the water misting nozzles were on but no one ventured outside even if the spray system dropped the temperature to a manageable 95 degrees.

Owners Phillipe and Edith Caupain
Summer in the Coachella Valley of California is a true test for restaurants.  Most shut down for the awful heat from May to October.

Si Bon stays open because they’re an outstanding restaurant.  The cuisine reminds San Diegans of the late, great and much beloved Belgian Lion Restaurant of years past. 

Si Bon owners Edith and Philippe Caupain like the Belgian Lion’s Don and Arlene Coulon are impressive chefs.  The meals we ordered immediately told us they had a command of the cuisine simply because they know how to make a fabulous range of sauces.

Before opening Si Bon, Phillippe was executive chef at Maxim’s in Palm Springs and before that executive chef at the Thunderbird Country Club.

Our tourist friends ordered the Summer Special prix fixe $19 dinner, which is offered from 4 pm until closing.

One entrée satisfied a craving that road travel creates and that’s for ‘Merican comfort food.  Smothered a wine sauce, an excellent meatloaf slice was served with a generous side of mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, and a light squash soufflé.

Entrée number two was Beef Stroganoff served on a bed of farfalle pasta and sprinkled with finely chopped chive and basil.

Wines are excellent and reasonably priced.  Chocolate soufflé made with Belgian chocolate (what else) sealed the deal.

Any would be restaurateurs might study the Caupain operation on how to price, prepare and propagandize a successful restaurant.

Si Bon
40101 Monterey Avenue @ Country Club Drive, Rancho Mirage

Dessert at end of meal was a Belgian chocolate souffle.  Entree one (middle image) was Beef Stroganoff on farfalle pasta; and Entree two: meat loaf, mixed veggies and mashed potatoes with a squash souffle.

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