“Charles the cook and proprieter took our order. Charles was one of the few Frenchmen I liked, and that was because he was probably a Greek. Charles is a French name and La Bonbonniere is a French name but the cusiine and ambiance of the place is more like a Greek Coffee shop than a French restaurant. I like Greek Coffee shops more than French restuarants. They’re more American.” (“Frequent Flyer,” 1989).
La Labotomy is Kinky’s pet name for La Bonbonniere his local diner or as we would call it, cafe, in England.
The good news is that La Bonbonniere is still going strong today and of course Kinky was correct when he said its owner was Greek despite its French sounding name. It is located at 28 8th Avenue and by all accounts does a mean hamburger. Be warned however, it does not open in the evenings.
Here is a recent review from Yelp:
Ok, this place is a dump. And I mean that in only the most loving way. When I first moved to New York, dives like this were everywhere. But with the mall-ing of Soho and the proliferation of Starbucks, they slowly and silently died out. I hope this one never does. La Bonbonniere is, essentially, the quintessential mom-and-pop diner and the formica in there is older than I am. They have at least one cat that roams around cozying up to you as you read the newspaper waiting for quite possibly the best blueberry pancakes on the planet, served on heavy diner crockery with a steaming cup-o-java. The windows are plastered with yellowing love letters to the place that echo my opinion. It’s damn good, cheap food. Try to score a table outside on the sidewalk.
La Bonbonniere is at 28th 8th Avenue New York NY 10014 212-741-9266