Benito’s Place

Benito’s Place had two main benefits on this, Superbowl Sunday. First, it was the exact distance from my house that I felt like walking, a distance that allowed me to feel virtuous enough to eat a huge plate of baleadas but also close enough to convince my husband to walk there. Second, we figured that of all the cheapo holes in walls, the best one to be at during the “big game” (I hear that’s what people call it) is one that couldn’t possibly give a shit about American football. Futbol, yes. Foo’ball, no.

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Our server offered us a variety of house-made juices and “beer.” Looking around for some clues, my husband ordered a Modelo. I also asked for an appetizer of plátanos fritos. A solid fifteen minutes later, while waiting for food, I glanced around to see a huge shelf of tequila, hailed the waitress, and asked, “Excuse me, I see that tequila…can you make margaritas?”

“Sure, I can make you a margarita!” she chirped. Wat. Why didn’t you mention the possibility of margaritas?

Ahhhh, that’s better. Post-receiving of margarita, I realized why it wasn’t offered: it was heavy on orange juice and nothing special. But whatever–tequila is tequila.

The plantains arrived–they were not the sticky-sweet gooey kind I love, but they had a nice crunch, a subtle sweetness, and traditional crema.

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I ordered the baleadas especiales. At the time of ordering, I was like, “Why am I paying $10 for baleadas. DC prices, amirite?” This turned out to be a delicious, delicious mistake. The whole thing was a delicious mistake. The chicken inside was delicious and it was stuffed with avocado. After adding some salsa picante, I was good to go. Note: I only ate one of them and took the other one home, split it into two lunches, and imagine I will be very happy for the next two days. And, I’m just going to say it: baleadas > pupusas. Sorry Salvadorans…you’re wrong.

My spouse, after much second-guessing and asking for translation of words that don’t translate, settled on the mole de guerrero.

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I thought the chicken was extremely tasty, although “spicy” was a bit of an exaggeration. It was peppery and smoky, though. On the other hand, it seems like they somehow managed to add extra bones to this particular chicken. My husband will complain about any place that serves chicken on the bone in a sauce. He would not do well in Latin America.

Price: $20 per person.

Bottom line: For me, Central American food is all a matter of nostalgia, so I personally enjoyed Benito’s Place. It’s also much more difficult to find Honduran cuisine in a town that’s totally dominated by Salvadoran food, so on that it earns some cred too. The husband was less stoked on it, but again, chicken bones.

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