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  • “And I love that you get a free handful of tortilla chips too, nice touch Benitos, nice touch.” in 6 reviews

  • “And (tip to other burritos I've tried recently) it's not overloaded with refried beans to the point of saturation of all other flavours.” in 5 reviews

  • “To soak up all the tequila, we tried soft tacos filled with beef, pork, chicken or veggies, along with some salad and cheese.” in 6 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    5/7/2014
    1 check-in

    This was a delicious surprise while waiting for my train. The ingredients all looked fresh and hot unlike many other burrito bars in London.

    Friendly staff and the price is good for a central London location. Definitely worth a visit if you have a few minutes to grab one while traveling

    Would recommend the pork burrito with everything! Looking forward to my next visit

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/4/2014
    1 check-in

    HHhMmMmMmm...Not so sure about this one. I'd been to a super dooper Yelp event at Benito's Hat last year where we were treated to their wonderful summer sharing menu. I thoroughly enjoyed all the grub and the sauces were great. So, I was in the area and needed a quick bite one evening and figured hey, I've been meaning to try the regular menu for ages too! And so I did...and was sadly not so impressed.

    The tortilla was a little old and so fell apart as I was eating my tacos, all a little messy. Luckily I was dining alone, you would not want this happening in date situation! The fillings and sauces were nothing particularly special and I think the whole thing should have cost a couple of quid less. What a shame! I'll definitely give it another go as I was really taken with the food at the yelp event. Maybe they were just having an off evening, I hope so!

    A regretful Meh..
    c*

  • 3.0 star rating
    28/7/2014
    1 check-in

    Solid burritos. Quick and easy. You won't mistake them for real tex-mex but the food is serviceable. Fun atmosphere with music playing. Also, Monday is all day happy hour with 2-1 drinks.

  • 4.0 star rating
    28/1/2014

    I stopped here for a quick lunch, and was pleased to enjoy a decent veggie burrito, with everything in that you would wish for.  It was all good quality and fresh.  There is a choice of the sort of things you might expect such as the beans, the salad stuff, and the sauce.  I asked for the hottest sauce and it was nicely spicy - not something you can always rely on.

    At £5.50 for my veggie burrito, I thought it quite acceptable value for the West End.

  • 5.0 star rating
    16/2/2014
    3 check-ins

    This is far and away my favourite burrito place in West London, and currently in London altogether. There are other good burrito places, but what make Benito's Hat stand out is the ingredients.

    I work nearby, so we walk over fairly often. They change what they have on offer. Unlike Chipotle or Tortilla (both fine in their own ways), Benito's hat changes things up from time to time. I've had spicy tofu, spicy mushrooms, and different kinds of vegetables. They also have my favourite Mexican beer (Negra Modelo) and they serve it with a lime (just like they do in the US). It's also nice to get a few tortilla chips thrown in when you get a burrito. We usually munch on those during our walk back to the office.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/3/2013

    Not too long ago, I wrote a review of Benito's Hat and, overall, I wasn't very impressed.

    Last night, after grabbing some cheap last-minute tickets to the theatre (yay!), we had 40 minutes to grab something to eat and get back. Benito's Hat it is, my partner said, even though we'd been less that thrilled last time.

    We changed up our strategy this time, however, after noticing that perhaps tacos weren't the way to go. We both opted for burritos (his pork and refried beans, mine spicy chicken and black beans), and this time we came away happier. It didn't seem like they were putting much in when they were building it but it ended up being tasty, quick, and relatively cheap.

    I still take exception to the fact that they charge £0.70 for guacamole. Maybe I'm cheap but I don't consider guacamole 'extra' on a burrito but rather standard so I don't think there should be a charge.

    Other than that, Benito's is back in my good graces. I wouldn't make a special trip for it but I'm more likely to consider it now when I'm in the area.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/11/2010
    ROTD 23/3/2011

    This really hit the spot. After having lived in California, I couldn't expect Mexican food in England to even come close.  After a middling, expensive meal at Taqueria in Notting Hill, my suspicions were set to be confirmed, but Benitos Hat quickly reversed that and turned it on its' head.  My braised pork (they didn't call it Carnitas!?) burrito was a perfect blend of all your favorite ingredients smashing into each other and creating that warm meaty gooey mash that makes it so perfect.  The size, roughly the shape and weight of what I imagine my stomach must be, was about right, although I might complain it was a little too round and not long enough for easy consumption, although one might also argue half the fun in a burrito is taming it into your mouth.  Not only that, my burrito was a decent price, unlike the (lackluster) Chipotles here.

    My companions similarily enjoyed their meals, and washed it down with Pacificos, Negra Modellos, and margaritas (the latter I can 't attest to, being a beer man).  

    However, I will have to subtract a point for the sparse and slightly garish fast food environment.. other than itty potted cactii on the tables, it conveyed little character, as even dingy hole-in-the-wall burrito joints back West manage to do.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/9/2011
    1 check-in

    Yum yum yum - burrito in my tum!

    Popped in with my boy toy for a quick lunch while passing through and we both left full and happy! I had the braised chicken burrito with refried beans, rice and EVERY topping they had - cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and the hottest salsa on offer.

    They must have new staff or a new system from these earlier reviews as service was extremely fast, my burrito was rolled expertly and I whizzed down the counter, paid and sat in a whirlwind. I was also thrilled at just how polite the staff were while being so quick and efficient. Ooh and the handful of nachos was a nice surprise too!

    Benito - I raise my hat to you!

  • 2.0 star rating
    19/2/2012
    1 check-in

    Maybe I was unlucky, but the burrito I had here put an unwanted 'meh' into mexican food. The fillings were relatively cold (?), watery and didn't taste very fresh. I also didn't like the fact that there is no regular/medium size of burrito, which I could have done with,  instead of the rather large one I was lumbered with. And the service was a bit surly.

    On the plus side, I liked the Mexican music playing, But unfortunately it didn't make the burrito taste any nicer.

    I'll be heading elsewhere next time I'm in the mood for Mexican food.

  • 2.0 star rating
    26/9/2010

    I have to say, I wasn't at all impressed. Benito's Hat is one of the new wave of burrito bars flooding London currently. Two sites, this one and another on Goodge Street.

    Maybe it was my own fault for going in post theatre but to be honest I've had better, a lot better. The meat was a little dry and tasteless and the salsa too wet. It does the job, and I'll definitely be back earlier in service to try one again, but it's not the best I've had by a long chalk.

  • 5.0 star rating
    3/11/2011

    NOW THIS is Mexican.

    Our office was lucky enough to win a Benito's Hat burrito drop (a promotion they did to coincide with Day of the Dead).

    I tried a pork burrito, and hot damn, i think it was the best I've ever had.

    Fat chunks of delicious pork, not too much rice, hot salsa. Just perfect in my eyes.

    I couldn't finish a whole one, so maybe I'll have to think about portion size when I next go. But I will, oh hell yes, I will.

    I did go to the Fitzrovia one last year, on an epic hangover, tried chicken and finished the lot - so actually, what the hell do I know?

    Ah yes, and I like that they give you a little handful of tortilla chips in each bag. A nice touch.

  • 3.0 star rating
    10/2/2011
    1 check-in

    Ai ai ai ai! Okay, so I don't know if I've written that right but I know what I mean...

    I've been to Benito's Hat twice. Once was for a tasting session and the other was for lunch the other day. I think I'm actually going off burritos. Either that or I haven't had a really good one in ages. I have sampled a lot of what comes out the kitchen at Bento's Hat and I have to say, a lot of it is pretty darn tasty. Lunchtime burritos whoever, not so much. For one, I've never witnessed someone having so much trouble rolling and wrapping the damn thing. Also, the whole process was so slow I almost wanted to jump over there and help the poor girl.

    It was also a little odd that non of the tables had hot sauce on them, and when I asked for some they put some salsa in a small pot and gave that to me. Very strange. However, when I was here during the evening the cocktails and nibbles were delightful so I think I might have just got an off day.

  • 2.0 star rating
    23/8/2012 Updated review

    I used to think this was the best burrito in town.

    A year and a few months later, it's not. It's really not.

    Benito's, sadly, has gone down hill and you can find loads of better options.

    The insides, which used to be fresh and flavourful, are now tired and bland at best. Meat is dry and the refried beans have turned into disgusting greasy brown sludge that no sane human would eat.

    They give you much less, as well, and I ended up with a very skinny burrito.

    Service is quite a bit less friendly than in the past.

    I won't return.

    4.0 star rating
    16/3/2011 Previous review
    This is the best burrito in town.

    The insides, at first, aren't that much different than the other…
    Read more
  • 4.0 star rating
    26/12/2011

    Fast Fast Burrito!!

    I popped into this branch of Benito's Hat upon recommendation from a fellow Mexican food addict.

    I had the chicken burrito with everything- cheese, lettuce, re-fried beans rice and the best salsa i have ever tasted in a burrito.

    The food was quick, the staff were friendly and helpful.

    Great place for a quick lunch or post drinks munch!!!

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/6/2011
    1 check-in

    Total flavour hit! Salty margaritas and tortilla chips, tangy and sweet limeade, and killer salsa brava (chilli sauce).

    Having lived in New York City and having almost existed on Mexican food I have pretty high expectations and Benito's Hat is almost there. Great flavour, and reasonable selection of burrito and taco fillings. My only gripe is that the girl who served me needs to learn how to roll a soft shell taco, the filling needs to be in the tortilla, not in the foil!

    Ah well, fingers crossed for a perfect 5/5 next time :)

  • 4.0 star rating
    14/7/2010

    Yep, I was there for the cocktails and tacos opening party last night. It was a lot of fun! The folks at Benito's were super friendly. Everybody had a great time. Plenty of laughs, lots of food and killer drinks!

    I was pleased to discover Benito's Hat now has a second location (their original location is on Goodge Street). The food is decent and very well priced and the cocktails are amazing. Want a cheap-n-cheerful meal in a comfy and attractive setting? You'll be wise to keep Benito's Hat in mind.

    • Qype User katmab…
    • London
    • 62 friends
    • 82 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    14/7/2010

    Yum Yum Yum. Me gusta mucho!

    Last night's private fiesta got going with Tequileno Tequila Blanco - 100% agave - and LOTS of it. We had an opportunity to try 7 Leguas Blanco as well, and compare the tastes before sampling 6 of the delicious cocktails that could be served up with your tacos or burritos. From the perfect margarita to cocktails with watermelon to espresso, I'm a total convert to tequila-based drinks!

    To soak up all the tequila, we tried soft tacos filled with beef, pork, chicken or veggies, along with some salad and cheese. Served up on the side were some totopos and toppings of delicious salsa verde or a super hot chili salsa, sour cream and fresh, chunky guacamole. I was in heaven!

    I'm definitely going to go again - to whichever location is within reach! Muy delicioso!

    • Qype User YHZgir…
    • London
    • 35 friends
    • 65 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    16/9/2010

    The food was fresh, the value for money good. So for a quick bite to eat I would highly recommend it.

    I was disappointed that there wasn't an option for a hard shell taco as I like my tacos to have some crunch.

    The fact that there is a small bar in the back that serves some high quality tequila as well as tequila based cocktails at a great price is nice, but I would be more inclined to think of Benito's Hat as a place to have a drink if it had a cosier less cafeteria like feel to it.

    All in all I like the fact that Mexican food is growing in popularity and the quality is getting better here in London, but I think there is still room for improvement.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/11/2013

    Food's good; staff friendly; music awesome.

    Only complaint is that the margarita wasn't so good, and was overpriced.

    But nice vibe.

    • Qype User peterb…
    • London
    • 27 friends
    • 73 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    14/7/2010

    Benito's Hat in Covent Garden is an interesting addition to the Fitzrovia Benito's Hat, and other brightly coloured Mexican restaurants that have been popping up in London over the last few years.

    The food follows the tried and tested formula where you select if you want a burrito or taco, the type of meat (based on the qype event last night I'd go with the spicy pork) and fillings. There is the obligatory additional charge for guacamole, so overall nothing too remarkable there.

    The interesting part is the focus on the cocktail bar. There is an obvious expertise with tequila based cocktails as you would expect. Each month there is a guest brand, and a selection of house cocktails which may vary over time, although I'm sure anything Mexican can be made given their expertise.

    I believe it may be necessary to order some food when drinking here to comply with their license (nachos may be enough) so it will be good to see how this all works out. Benito's Hat is certainly in a great location to try this welcome move from food towards tequila cocktails.

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/4/2011

    Yes yes yes! When I first visited Benito's Hat last year, I have to admit, the meat in my burrito was a little dry and I feared The Hat would not be able to keep up with the (ever-growing) competition. But every time I've been since then, the food has been excellent! Yesterday I had the new lamb burrito and OH DEAR GOD....such tasty, juicy goodness. I don't like picking favourites, but on this occasion I'll admit it - it was the best burrito I'd ever had. And I love that you get a free handful of tortilla chips too, nice touch Benitos, nice touch.

    Clearly, the place is getting better with age - highly recommended.

    • Qype User Nunhea…
    • London
    • 213 friends
    • 183 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    23/1/2011

    I found myself on the Southbank around lunch time on Saturday with a strong desire for the tacos. My number one choice in this area Tortilla was closed so I hiked on into town and made my way to Benito's Hat which is situated just off Covent Garden.

    It was pretty quiet for a Saturday lunchtime with no queue and plenty of tables available. Like most of these "Mexican" burrito places the menu and instructions for ordering are on the wall which makes the whole thing very easy if you are not familiar with the concept.

    It's a nice room, bright and light with a functional layout. Take your choice of sitting at a regular table or there is a long counter with high stools which is probably best for singles or couples. It's not designed for a long, lingering lunch particularly during a busy mid-week lunch time but it's well designed and is pleasant enough. As there were only a few other diners I grabbed a table so I could spread out with my food, beer and newspaper.

    The menu itself is pretty much the same as you will find at all the other main players in this area of "fast" food (think Tortilla, Burrito Bros, etc). Burritos, tacos and salads were all on offer with all the fillings we know and love, present and correct. I had a couple of the flour tacos with the pork; layered up with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and topped off with some hot, hot sauce. Side order of guacamole, chips and a bottle of Modelo Especial and this fella was ready to chow down.

    It was a fine taco but just a little too "sloppy", a small puddle of juice collected in the bottom of my foil wrapping, to be perfect for my taste. It's a fine line between moist and wet but nonetheless it was a pretty good lunch. The guacamole was as fresh as you like with a great zing to it and the chips were crispy and crunchy with no hint of grease.

    My beer was a spot on accompaniment to the tacos and there are a few other brands available. A range of cocktails and tequila can also be had and the special 2 for 1 offer on the cocktails in the early evening would make this a bargain way to kick off a night in central London.

    The staff are very friendly and efficient; more than happy to indulge in a bit of banter when things are quiet and they are keen to get your feedback.
    It's a good cheap fast dining experience, with quality ingredients well cooked, at Benito's Hat. Perhaps not as good as the Fitzrovia branch but still pretty damn fine. If I could award a  star this would be getting 3 .

    So I left well fed, a smile on my face and a spring in my step as I crossed Waterloo Bridge to check out the free lunchtime music being provided by the wicked Cuban combo, the Sugar Kings, at the National Theatre (a free London top tip if you are visiting our great city).

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/3/2014

    I really enjoy getting dinner at Benito's hat! I always get the salad/bowl burrito and they definitely do not skimp on any of the ingredients and everything seems very fresh and tastes delicious.  I honestly think this place is better than Chipotle (gasp!) but that's because I feel it's great quality and a good deal cheaper.  I also love how they have two types of chicken options for those of us that can't handle the spice (go for the achiote braised chicken!).  The only downside is this location always seems to be packed and sometimes it is hard to find a table but you can call ahead a reserve a table!

    • Qype User mikejd…
    • London
    • 4 friends
    • 7 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    21/7/2010

    I very recently ventured into the Benito's Hat near Covent Garden after passing it on opening day. It was one of those stronger than fate days destined for burritos - lo and behold it was opening day!

    Despite my initial gut reaction calling for the big B I sort of felt compelled to go for the taco. For some reason I thought it was going to be a crispy taco but really it was just a small burrito - guess years of supermarket Mex food has seriously warped my idea of what a taco really is..!

    It was a good experience... but not a spot on the Goodge Street in terms of service for some reason. Can't completely blame the guys working - it was their first day of work and they were likely finding their feet. I'm sure after a few days it will take off as it's a pretty busy area in dire need of Mexican persuasion!

  • 2.0 star rating
    19/10/2011

    I mean, okay. I might be spoiled from living in San Francisco...but this is probably the worst burrito I had for the money.
    the wrap was too tight so it burst. awesome. and it's tiny.
    soft tacos. you can only have lettuce OR tomato. not both.  even if you have 3. ah, c'mon! really?
    and all of that for £12...not amazed at all.
    won't come back.

  • 3.0 star rating
    16/8/2012

    A nice little place to go if you're wanting to grab a casual lunch that's super filling, quite healthy and not too expensive.
    I had the chicken burrito with refried beans. The portion was plenty, and they throw in a few complimentary salted nachos too. For this and a can of Coke I think the damage was around £7.50. The burrito was pretty good, but I also think there's probably better out there and I'd like to try a few other places, but wouldn't be adverse to coming back to Burrito's Hat.
    The service is efficient and friendly and the surroundings are clean and casual. A good alternative to the Prets/Eats/McDonalds that dominate the surrounding area for pretty much the same price.

  • 2.0 star rating
    18/10/2011

    Sorry Benito and your hat, but I won't be back....soft tacos that weren't so soft with no flavour, bland tortilla chips, you get the picture.  Highlights were the pretty decent margarita and watching my bf sweat after having his burrito with the salsa brava.  A poor cousin to Chipotle.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/12/2011

    If you're loooking for a scrummy Mexican lunch look no further than Benitos Hat. The steak  burrito in particular is great, especially with home made guacamole. It's reasonably priced too. Expect to feel lethargic for at least 2 hours after eating!

  • 3.0 star rating
    21/11/2010
    1 check-in

    Benito's hat is definitely one of the better burrito bars around town.  Inexpensive meal that'll fill you up and pretty tasty.  However I think the one on goodge street is better.

  • 4.0 star rating
    14/7/2010
    First to Review

    I came here for a qype cocktails and burritos evening. Leave your preconceptions about tequila at the door now. No worms (thats mezcal), no lime, no salt and definately, definately no slamming. This is the good stuff, 100% blue agave and as such deserves some respect. This forms the basis of the super smooth cocktails at Benitos Hat. My fav was the espresso martini but they were all pretty darn good. They have a guest tequila that changes every month so be sure to check back and see what's new. We then got to play around and come up with our own cocktails. Personally I still feel our combination of tequila, lime, gooseberries and caramel was a winner and I may sneak back and try to persuade Ben and Alex to put it on the menu!
    We also got to sample the burritos and tortilla chips. Surprisingly for a comitted carnivore like myself, I actually liked the veggie ones best. For me the spicy pork could have been a little more spicy. But once I piled the black beans on top, mmn burrito heaven! I would totally come back to Benito's Hat when I'm craving mexican food and I would recommend seeking it out if you're in the covent garden area.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/9/2010

    Went here as part of a Qype cocktails and burritos evening. Excellent burritos made by Ben and his team. Fab cocktails by Alex using blue agave tequila. We had a great time competing to make a cocktail that would have a guest spot on the menu. Will be definitely heading back.

    • Qype User PWCrad…
    • London
    • 4 friends
    • 19 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    25/7/2012

    Nice place! A night ended here for us last week. Staff friendly, food good and well priced. Seems to attract a good crowd, too. Reading the other reviews made me realise that this place is rare in that I didn't see a Mexican hat hanging from the wall  I'll appreciate this more next time. There will be a next time!

    • Qype User garyjs…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 7 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    17/2/2011

    A good tasting burrito, but the lack of any hot pepper sauce is a drawback. A bit more flexibilty would be good also (not everyone wants beans in their burrito!). Tortilla chips always seem a little stale too.
    A hell of a lot better than Chipottle though.

    • Qype User rob_mo…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 2 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    16/9/2010

    Excellent place for a burrito. Haven't got round to checking out the margaritas yet.

  • 5.0 star rating
    8/11/2011

    Benito's Hat doesn't REALLY deserve 5 stars.  I mean, I know that.  But as an American whose partner doesn't like Mexican, I only get it if I can con a friend into going with me.  Having found something quick and easy that I could do over lunch if I fancied, I feel as though my whole world has opened up into a happier nicer burrito-ier world!  (Yes, burrito-ier.  Just because it's not a word doesn't mean it shouldn't be.)  Tell them what you want, they put it in a burrito or taco or what-not..  They hand it to you, you find a place to sit and eat it.  Easy!  The nice thing about this location as opposed to the one on Goodge Street that I believe I've previously reviewed is that this one has far more seating and is much more inviting for sitting and chatting with someone.  However, it's also laid out in a way that you wouldn't feel weird going on your own to eat there either.  It definitely scratches an itch at an affordable (for London) price.

  • 5.0 star rating
    14/7/2010

    I was part of a small group of Qypers invited to a preview night of this new branch of Benito's Hat*** Visiting Benito's Hat came at the end of a 2 week long craving for burritos, and this was the ideal place to sate it. We had a sample of fillings from the menu  I think I tried pork, chicken and veg. All were very tasty, but my particular favourite was the succulent and delicious pork  especially when combined with the black beans which were so amazing I could (and practically did) just eat them with a spoon. Even the nacho chips here are ideal  not salty or greasy, just the perfect receptacle for scooping up any of the wonderful salsas (try the salsa verde!). Or indeed for scooping up those scrumptious black beans. The main reason we Qypers were invited was to sample the new signature cocktail menu which Benito's is rolling out. We were taken on a journey through the history of the drink, why your cheap off-licence version with the worm in it just doesn't cut the mustard, and what works well with tequila to make a top-notch cocktail. Then the poor unsuspecting staff of Benito's Hat let us loose to formulate our own crazy concoctions  watch out for the winning cocktail in store! So, what is this new branch like? The décor is bright and fresh  it doesn't lean towards the tacky let's hang a whole bunch of Mexican rubbish on the walls school of decorating, but neither does it come across as self-consciously trendy. The staff are friendly, and the obvious passion for authentic Mexican food and drink shines through.

    • Qype User greedy…
    • London
    • 17 friends
    • 69 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/8/2010

    For photos see Greedy Diva @ greedydiva.blogspot.com/…  At last a burrito I can respect. The jaw locking pork burrito at Benito's Hat is a behemoth example of what a burrito should be. It is literally bursting with pile upon pile of tender, fragrant shreds of carnitas pork - braised slowly and simmered with lime juice, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cumin and oregano. The balsamic may lack authenticity, but is a deliberate improvement beyond reproach since it adds a superb kick. It comes topped with mounds of black beans (slow cooked and flavoured with avocado leaves), coriander and lime rice, lettuce, grated Montery Jack, guacamole, sour cream and salsa - all somehow rammed into a soft tortilla. I can't believe what I'm seeing as it's being built. But I keep quiet and watch bemused as they somehow manage to wrap it all up. It costs £5.50 (plus 50p for the guacamole). Bargain. The Peanut Gallery's chargrilled steak burrito is right up there with the pork. Marinated overnight in chipotle chilies, lime and spices the lean meat is supremely tender with an earthy, smoky flavour - he opts for the slow cooked pinto beans with paprika instead of the black beans (£6.00). This is gutsy Mexican food. It tastes both fresh and interesting. And (tip to other burritos I've tried recently) it's not overloaded with refried beans to the point of saturation of all other flavours. Benito's Hat opened its new outlet in Covent Garden on 16th July, an offshoot of its popular Goodge St restaurant. The decor in Covent Garden is different - quite stark and white, with splashes of green and red, it doesn't encourage lingering. It screams fast food (despite the careful, slow cooking involved). But chef Felipe Fuentes Cruz concedes this, and admits the team are already considering changes to soften some of the edges and encourage their patrons to linger with that extra margarita or dessert. You get the idea they're flexible enough to make whatever changes are required to satisfy their customers - some Goodge St customers have commented that the food tastes different, which Felipe puts down to the different, more modern equipment being used in the new kitchen. If the new stuff doesn't work out, they'll revert back to the same equipment as in the original store. It seems to be working out to me... Named after Benito Juarez, a former Mexican president with a penchant for a certain distinctive wide-brimmed hat, Benito's Hat is the enterprise of Ben Fordham (ex-lawyer who has honed his culinary skills in Mexico) and head chef Felipe (formerly of other London Mexican restaurants like Green & Red). Felipe, hailing from Puebla in Mexico, is happy to chat with patrons as he works the floor and the cash register, and his passion - devoid of any ego - is obvious. The aim here is to bring the vibrant flavours and colours of Mexico's rich culinary culture to Londoners who are over the bland Tex-Mex scene. The flavours are simple and fresh. And, for once, the pork burrito tastes and smells distinctly different from the beef one. There are tacos, salads and soups as well. We start with a couple of margaritas - classic for me (£5) and watermelon for TPG (£6.00). Made with 100% Pure Blue Agave tequila (no mixers) they're excellent. We accompany them with some light and crispy tortilla chips with a terrific guacamole - chunky fresh avocado, with the zing of lime and the bite of summery tomatoes. We also try some tacos with 2 types of chicken - Ben's chargrilled chicken breast, marinated overnight in chipotle chillies, cumin and cinnamon, and Felipe's braised chicken breast version cooked in a blend of achiote (the seeds are ground and used as a mildly flavoured colouring agent in Mexican cooking), tomato and guajillo chillies (£4 for two). They come in soft flour tortillas with the recommended lettuce, cheese and salsa (although you can add other toppings). Alone they would be a much smaller meal than the burritos, and together with a burrito, it's all way too much. But we battle on in the line of duty... Felipe's braised chicken is particularly good (again, so tender) but the tacos are less interesting, less meaty - I'm afraid they don't compete with the magnificent burritos so I take a couple of bites and decide not to waste rapidly diminishing stomach space. And then, although we can't believe we're doing it, we have dessert. By this point our chairs are creaking, on which grounds we steer away from heavier options like the tres leches cake and go for a ball of dulce de leche ice-cream, sprinkled with cinnamon and surrounded with a higgledy piggledy array of buneulos (strips of fried flour tortillas) liberally sprinkled in sugar and cinnamon (£3.50). Presentation could be improved, and while I didn't adore the bunuelos I devoured them in a way you wolf down the empty calories of a packet of Doritos after a big night on the town - in that wasteful, dirty, mindless sort of way. The ice-cream was

    • Qype User phill1…
    • Cambridge
    • 0 friends
    • 15 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/5/2012

    Pretty good food. Been in here a few times now and will certainly be coming back. It's a bit like a subway but for Mexican food.

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