Houston >Food & Dining > benjy's in the village
2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston, TX | Directions 7700529.719154 -95.416609
Mon., Sun. 11am - 9pm;Tue. - Thu. 11am - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 11am - 11pm
Neighborhoods: University Place, South Central
Benjys in the village is my go-to happy hour spot. Excellent drinks and great food specials for just $6. Get the blood orange margarita, the pork dumplings over tangy cabbage slaw, a gourmet truffle and pine nut pizza. Snag a seat on the outside deck before the sun goes down with a friend or girlfriend, and go to town.
Horrible Dinning Experience!! My wife and I go out to eat 2 - 3 times a week; we don't have children, I don't cook and it appears she doesn't want to when she's home (Flight Attendant). For her Birthday in February - Benjy was one of her choices, but we ended up at Vic & Anthony, I thought it would be nice to try Benjy anyway so that’s what we did Sunday 8/12/12.
Now I don't blame Benjy for trying to make money - but there're too many tables in that little small dining area. I was too close to the loud and annoying people at the next table; I spent the evening listening to M.D.Anderson “war stories”. The tables are low and our Waitress was tall so it was very difficult to hear her. The two appetizers were horrible, the expensive Pork Chop was cooked right, but I'm still trying to figure out what direction the Chef was going with the Homing and Greens (very tough). I don't mean any harm but this was the worst dinning experience I've had in many, many years!!
I am new to Houston, I am glad I found Benji's, they surprise me every time with different flavor.
Great food great people watching! – Interesting menu, great drinks and a really friendly staff. Only hassle is the parking, but its the Village so what are you gonna do?
Local hotspot – This bar is definitely a local hotspot. A friend brought me here once and I have been a frequent client ever since. The drinks and the warm atmosphere make you want to stay and stay.
Indifferent experience – I made reservations at Benjy's for my friends birthday after reading the reviews left by other diners. I was happy to have made a reservation for a Saturday lunch because at 1pm, there was a half hour wait. I highly recommended reservations, this restaurant does not have any over flow seating other then bar, and the dozen people waiting for tables had to stand outside in the wind and drizzle. This is also a moderately small establishment...very trendy and modern, but small. The parking is very limited, its a small lot shared by other establishments, and required many trips around the parking lot before securing a spot.
Our server was severely lacking in the service department. She never told us her name, only refilled our drinks after having to ask...and then remind her, and she cared more about doting on the obviously wealthy middle aged couple sitting next to us, while completely ignoring us. She made no lunch recommendations, did not describe the food to us, and never checked with us after it was delivered to make sure that we were happy with our selections. We had to ask for a desert menu after she dropped the check on the table, and then we had to ask for the check after our deserts were finished. I can deal with bad service, but when I am paying $70 for lunch in what is supposed to be a higher end boutique restaurant, I expect better service then what I got.
The food, was good, it was not great. We had calamari for an appetizer. It was light, the batter was not heavy or greasy, the sauce was a great compliment to it, and for once, it was not a plate of whole fried squid. They served complimentary muffins that were fantastic. I had the crusted chicken which from the reviews I was expecting to be heaven in my mouth. It was good...it was by no means the delicious plate of food that I was expecting. The chicken was very moist, the nut crust that was on it, was extremely thick though. It was served on a small glop of overly sauteed spinach, which was served on top of a white potato, sweet potato and onion gratin. The corn reduction that was supposed to be on the plate was almost non existent, and was served with extremely aldente broccoli on top of it. I was not dissatisfied with my meal, but my expectations for it were not met....it was good, but was not great. The desert however is another story. I am a huge creme brulee freak. I make it at home and order on every menu its offered on. They had some of the best that I have had. It was thick and creamy..with not a hint of an egg taste, and the sugar shell was thick and perfectly candied served with dried and fresh raspberries on top. I would have had a cocktail if I were not pregnant, the blood orange margarita was highly recommend to me by a friend. Most of the diners were drinking mixed drinks...mostly mimosas, which all looked fantastic.
And by the way...upon making the reservation, I noted that it was a birthday celebration. The couple at the table next to us were presented with a cake and candles to blow out...my friend however, was not even acknowledged. If we had much much better service then the 6 foot tall red head amazonian server that ignored and neglected us, my experience would have been more positive. I do plan on returning and giving Benjy's a second chance, the food that I saw on the other diners tables looked too good not to go back for. I hope that my experience is not shared by others, and if you do happen to get sat in said servers section...I would highly suggest that you move tables.
i love,love, love this place! – always courteous servers, staff and ambiance!
Gone down the dark hill – I'll only talk about the lounge upstairs, since I don't bother eating at the restaurant any longer (too pretentious and not that good). I liked the lounge uptairs in the past and decided to try it again, but uh oh. Immediately upon entering the noise level was deafening and the place was packed with talky black girls eating the cheap happy hour food. We couldn't even have a conversation with the racket. Left quickly. Not the place for us any longer.
Great food, so-so decor and service... – The food at Benji's is excellent and the menu is always creative. I have to say though that I was pretty disspointed with the service and decor. They need to update the tired surroundings and the service needs to improve. The food is virtually the same as the other location but the other location excels in all areas.
Excellent food but very compact parking – I'm not a real big steak eater. I love beef and steak, but I just don't eat it that often. So, when my dad said he wanted to out to eat steak I really had no idea where to take him. I know I didn't want the usual chain steakhouse. So of course I googled restaurant's that offer steak's and came across Benjy's. The menu looked like it some interesting selections so I took my dad there. I was not disappointed. The food was excellent. I ordered the Crusted Chicken which was a very tender chicken breast crusted with pecans and pistachios served on top of thick slices of potatoes, carrots, some spinach and a couple of spears of asparagus. The chicken was really awesome. Loved the taste of the chicken and the nuts which was proportionate. There wasn't took much chicken in each bite nor was the crust overpowering. Also on the plate was a green sauce that I loved. I asked about it and the waiter told me that it is a Corn Reduction sauce. It was creamy with a little bit of twang to it. I'd go back just to have more of that. My dad had the Red Wine Braised Boneless Beef Shortrib which was served on top of mashed potatoes and green beans. The beef was very tender and pretty much just fell apart. Very tasty. The green beans were a little bit tough though. The portions on both plates were very good. I could have made two meals out of mine but it was so good I couldn't stop eating.
Apart from the food the restaurant was very clean and designed appealingly. Sort of an upscale/loft afterwork feel to it. The staff was exceedingly friendly, polite, and very willingly to help in any way. Lots of smiles.
The only really bad thing I could find about Benjy's was the parking. When I first started looking for a place to park I thought a lot of people were taking up two space to keep someone from parking to close. I realized though that the parking spaces were extremely small. If I had been in a bigger car than the the little Honda I was in I would have taken up two spaces too. As it was I had to let my dad get out first before I pulled in and squeezed out of the door myself. I think maybe only a motorcycle would fit comfortably there.
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