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Benito's Hat (Restaurant)

Picture of Benito's Hat in West End, London

19 New Row, Covent Garden, West End, London, WC2N 4LA
Cuisine: Mexican
Tel: 020 7240 5815 | Email to Benito's Hat | Transport: Leicester Square | Write review

Benito's Hat Review

Best for:Food under a tenner, quick service.

Great: Good food without the fuss.

Before I first visited Benito's Hat, I'd heard unfavourable reviews, including some referring to it as the Mexican McDonalds. Other comments included badly managed, runny salsa, and poor, dry meat quality.

I didn't find it like this at all, so it sounds like it's changed drastically since that previous vitriol. It's a great place to grab a bite after work, or before heading out on the town, or to plan world domination. The food, although fundamentally limited in what is on offer, comes in many variations so isn’t too restricted.

The menu is straightforward; two choices as mains: either tacos or fajitas. I had tacos but not as you might expect. These weren't solid shells, these were soft, a mini fajita so to speak. I had a selection of fillings - beef, pork (pulled style, naturally) and two types of chicken, chipotle and achiote (braised) chicken - each arriving with fresh salsa, proper chunky stuff, as opposed to the awful stuff sold in supermarkets. These are all freshly prepared on site each day, including the guacamole. You could honestly taste the freshness.

For the most part, the fillings were excellent; although I didn't 100% enjoy the beef as I personally always eat rare or blue beef. Chipotle chicken is an absolute must. I've always been a fan and this was perfect. It's not as spicy as you might expect, but hot salsa can be added later. With a nice sprinkling of cheese and the option of spicy red chillies or jalapenos you can really amp up the heat if you so please. Not a spicy food kind of person? Then have some salsa verde and mellow your food out. Sour cream was also on offer.

Something I have always enjoyed is nachos, for as long as I can remember. I've had the best and I've had the downright awful, but these weren't bad at all. I'm so used to being served nachos with sloppy, bland salsa that when I started with these I was gobsmacked. They come with salsa, jalapenos, soured cream and a choice of beans: refried or black.

The drinks were great and there was plenty of choice for for everyone. I took the opportunity do enjoy my favourite beer a 'Pacifico Cerveza' and Tommy's Margarita made from tequila, lime and agave syrup (the syrup made from the Agave plant, which where tequila comes from). If you don't want a standard soft drink, there's also a selection of fruit juice such as fresh limeade, Hibiscus flower and traditional horchata (a mix of almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley).

When I first arrived about 7:30 it wasn't busy, which initially made me wary about how popular it was. But as the evening wore on it became filled with people, coming in to eat. Some were taking away, possibly due to how busy it was. There wasn't a set crowd that came in, it was varied. Some people were celebrating birthdays, others were stopping by because they knew it well and had become regulars.

It's an eye-appealing place, slushed with reds, greens and oranges so not just a somber restaurant. This absolutely complimented the busy, vibrant atmosphere, making it feel very friendly and welcoming. It’s perfect to chill out with some friends for food and drinks. It's for this reason that I would come back; stop by grab a quick bit of food and a beer. As a place that can do food for under a tenner, why wouldn't you want to?

And I'd recommend, if you're in a really celebratory mood, arriving between 5 and 7pm as there's 2 for 1 on cocktails!
...read more

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Venue ID: 22939

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Loved

"Hi guys, I come here with my friends and have very good time. I like your place very much and is very good times. I come back when I can soon. Thank you very much." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Dreadful pub, run by people who have zero idea about hospitality or running a pub. Upon arrival we sat in the back garden that only had one other table occupied , when we tried to order off the lunch menu..." Which venue is this?

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