Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Benihana: The Rose Colored Tint of Childhood Memories

The requisite Onion Volcano. Dave nailed it.

Remember how cool Benihana was when you were a kid? Remember coming home with a Polaroid of you and the family destined for a few months' tenure on the fridge, the smell of griddled meats and garlic butter glued to your clothes, and you practicing your knife skills with whatever dull objects happened to be within arm's reach?

No? Well then, your childhood must have been awful. Or maybe you didn't grow up near a Benihana. Either way, I'm here to let you know that as an adult, it's sadly not quite the same. Not that you shouldn't check it out, but if you do, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Pay the extra money for the Hibachi Chicken Rice. This is the undisputed champ of Benihana's menu, primarily because the rice is fried in gobs of garlic butter and doused with soy sauce.

2. Interact with your chef. If you stare at the guy cooking your food like you would a caged animal at the zoo, he'll be sad like a caged animal at the zoo. Give him some props for nailing the Onion Volcano or an "It's cool, bro, Mondays." if he fucks up the Shrimp Tail Toss.

3. If your kid chugs their Dragon Juice too quickly, DO NOT order them a second, unless you want to spend the latter half of your meal trying to keep them from doing a belly flop on the hibachi while your steak/shrimp/chicken gets cold.

4. Always tell them it's your birthday or that of someone in your party. You'll get a free dessert and a pretty terrible picture.

5. Be friendly to fellow diners. If you've got less that eight people in your group, It's rare you'll be the only ones at the table. Don't make it awkward by avoiding eye contact and not drinking. If you're at the receiving end, make sure and talk a bunch of shit on the way home. Those wieners deserve it.

6. If the Sugar Hill Gang shows up, definitely get a picture with them (happened once in New York City, I swear).

Follow these tips and tricks and your first/next visit to Benihana will be a good one. Man, what a terrible post. Buen provecho.

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