10497 Gateway Blvd W
El Paso, TX, 79925
(915) 592-7200
General party restaurant
I Ate: French onion soup, Southwest sampler (1/2 order), fried-cheese cheeseburger, Woodchuck cider
Price: ~$17.65 + tax/tip

(Five stars at its best; four at its worst)

There is one Bennigan's restaurant in El Paso; it is on the North side of Interstate-10, just West of the Yarborough exit.  Bennigan's is a bar and restaurant, suitable for parties and couples.


Back in NY, Bennigan's is a neglected restaurant; most diners will flock to TGIF or Applebee's without giving it any consideration.  I was a bit surprised when the Bennigan's in El Paso turned out to be more than a bit crowded.  There wasn't any delay in my being seated, but still...

One thing I like about Bennigan's is they seem to be the only restaurant in El Paso to stock hard cider, a drink I'm mildly addicted to.  I believe their selection in beer and other potables is also broader than most other places.  They served me Woodchuck Amber, an apple cider with a smooth texture and a surprising kick.

Let me also tell you, their french onion soup is wonderful.  Big chunks of onion and a few other veggies in a heavy broth, with a layer of cheese over the top.  It was aromatic and tasty and helped a great deal with my stuffy sinuses.


After receiving my cider and ordering, I waited impatiently for my soup and/or appetizer to arrive.  And waited.  And waited...  I think the kitchen might have been overloaded, because it took roughly 25 minutes for them to arrive, simultaneously.  I took the soup first, not wanting it to grow cold, while occasionally ducking up to grab a bite from the appetizer.

I'd ordered the Southwest Sampler platter, and the waiter had thoughtfully switched it to a half-order.  Good thing, too, because it was enormous.  Or maybe I was charged for a half-order but received the whole thing.  Ravenous as I was, I ate it all.  The Southwest eggrolls were pretty good, nice and crunchy, but definitely not fresh-made.  The quesadilla WAS fresh-made, but wasn't all that wonderful; it had a gooey texture and lacked flavor.  The nachos were good, with sour cream on top and guacamole on the side; the ones in the middle were a bit soggy, but that's to be expected.

It was right about then I realized what I'd done.

After waiting for the food, with my tummy rumbling, I'd bolted the appetizer.  Now the appetizer was all gone -- and I had no room left for the main course.

Gah.  I waved over the waiter, and explained my problem; I asked if he could delay the burger for a few minutes, and he agreed.  Sitting back for a bit, I managed to process some of the food I'd eaten, and the waiter brought the burger.  The fried-cheese cheeseburger was a 1/2 lb hamburger patty topped with a fairly large patty of fried and breaded cheese, tomato lettuce and onion.  It was accompanied by a mess o' french fries, a bit underdone to my taste, and a slice of pickle.  I ate a few fries, and cut a slice off the burger and ate it; very good, actually.  I then shoveled the rest of the plate into a doggie-bag.

I'd been eyeing the dessert menu, too.  I was tempted to order "death by chocolate"...  Except that's exactly what the result would've been.  Like a wafer-thin mint to Mr. Creosote...  *BOOM*  (Please excuse the Monty Python reference; I couldn't help it.)  And so, grabbing my jacket (and forgetting my doggie bag), I waddled out the door, thoroughly stuffed.

And so, my friends, I present you with Bennigan's restaurant.  The food is B+/A- and affordable, they have plenty of potables, and while they may be slightly slow in fulfilling your order, it just gives you more time to chat with your friends.  You should have a pleasant time, so long as you don't pig out on the appetizers.


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