Review: Bonge’s TavernAuthor: WIBIA | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Anderson, IN, Recommended: Independent
9830 West 280 North
Anderson, IN (Perkinsville…)
Bonge’s opened in 1934, caught on fire, blah blah…you can read the history on the website. Chef has a legit resume cooking at two of the better restaurants on the area.
What is interesting is that people tailgate here!! Perkinsville is 35 minutes from anywhere. They do not take reservations, so people will line up on the weekends for hours and tailgate in the parking lot. You will see people with wine, cheese, beers and plenty of tailgating activities. On a Saturday in June, your wait could be 2-3 hours.
The interior is mis-matched, vinyl table cloths, a few booths and maybe holds 75 people. The menu is chalkboarded, however there are a few items that make the list each time.
What I Ate:
The Smoked Salmon was great. It could’ve used a little more smokiness, but it was perfectly prepared. It was accompanied with horseradish, capers, onion, crackers…nothing out of the norm. I liked this, but I have had it just as good at other restaurants.
The crab cake was out-of-sight good. Perfect mixture of crab and topped with a sauce. I can’t remember the base of the sauce (something is telling me red pepper), but it was rich and delicious. Probably one of the better crab cakes that I have had…ever.
Sautéed morels. A little early for morel season (visit was 3 weeks prior to this post), so I asked where they are from and was told Seattle. They were smaller than normal morels and they warned us that there could be a little grit. A little was a touch of an understatement. The flavor was perfect and I liked them smaller, however there was too much sand and grit for me to recommend them. They had a wild mushroom listed as well and I should’ve got that.
Every meal has a salad of their “world famous tomato soup.” Father-in-law and I both ordered the soup, especially with that setup and we are glad that we did. Pieces of tomato and a little bacon as well. Croutons were fresh and to be honest, this is the best tomato soup that I have ever had.
My entrée was Hager Duck for $25. Duck was cooked medium rare, wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed with cheese and roasted jalapenos and topped with their homemade barbecue sauce. For something with barbecue, bacon and cheese, it was very refined. The duck was cooked perfectly and it is the right blend of heat, salt and sweetness. Really, just an amazing. My only complaint was that it could probably work with pork as well. I didn’t get a lot of duck flavor, but the consistency and everything was just perfect.
It was served with wild rice, cheesy potatoes, veggies and the best cornbread that you can eat.
Would I Buy It Again? Yes, easily. One of the best restaurants in the state. There is so much awesomeness happening here, I am not sure what else to say.
Btw, my father-in-law had the beef brisket. It was excellent as well, though it stood no match to my duck. Also, thanks to father-in-law for picking up the tab and the opportunity for me to have a great night out.