Benny’s Burritos: More Like Bennie’s Booze
It’s official, I want to meet Benny. His California-style Mexican den on Greenwich Avenue is the perfect hangout spot for locals seeking comfortable Mexican cuisine at dirt-cheap prices. The restaurant is small and cramped, strangely shaped, like the first floor of a creeky and shadowed pre-war building. What used to be brightly colored paint has faded to duller versions of scarlet, yellow, and royal blue through wear, dirt and dust. Bizarre art hangs a bit askew on the walls, including a slightly disturbing picture of a sock-puppet, chintzy fishes, and what looks to be local Mexican peasant art, from a flea market.
Despite the inarguably run-down look, Benny’s is about as comfortable and pretention-free as you can get. The servers let you sit and eat and drink as long and as much as you want; if you keep coming back, they’ll get to know you and your order (this is a step-up from the coffee man at your local deli…); the crowd is young and diverse – at any given time, you’ll see the who’s who of the Village’s gay network, families of four, yuppies, huppies, puppies, aged hipsters, young hipsters, fashion’s finest, and curious passers-by. While it’s a scene worth checkin’ out, don’t worry about what you’re going to wear – no one’s going to care.
As you could probably guess from the name, Benny’s is best known for it’s burritos, which are, admittedly, quite delicious. Burrito fillings range from the Jamaican jerk chicken to classic shredded beef to tofu, shredded spinach, and bbq beef, all of which pack a flavorful punch. While the over-stuffed nicely-wrapped burritos may be the claim to fame, I personally am a sucker for the Nachos Grande (bring on the sour cream) and the Enchiladas plate, swimming with creamy black beans, slightly crispy rice, and melted Monterey Jack. Just looking to enjoy one of Benny’s to-die-for and ridiculously cheap margheritas? No one will complain or try to kick you out (I’m looking at you, Bone Lick Park) – they’ll even give you free chips with tangy green tomatillo salsa.
Benny’s is my Mexican go-to. It’s uncomplicated, no frills, no fuss, and a great value. The staff is fantastic – as laidback as the crowd and seemingly ready to party themselves (without crossing the professionalism line, clearly). Not quite kitschy and certainly not cheesy, Benny’s is the daytime drinking, cheap Mexican, desperately searching nachos real deal.
Perfect For: afternoon ‘happy hour’, cheap eats, drinks with buddies, satisfying a burrito craving, hipster people-watching, margherita mondays, just lookin’ for a good time…