Saturday, 9 March 2013

Benito's Hat Covent Garden

Swung by Covent Garden to pick up a burrito to go after class ended at 6pm. The queue was five people deep, but moved along fairly snappily thanks to the well-oiled "conveyor-belt" burrito assembly system employed here. The first person warms each tortilla on a grill, places it on a piece of foil, and passes it on to the next guy behind the counter. As beans, rice, your topping of choice then vegetables and sauces are added, you get to see your burrito begin to form. It's eventually expertly folded and wrapped, and served with a helping of warm tortilla chips whether to eat in or have it to go. 

Sometimes I think the complimentary tortilla chips are my favourite part of Benito's Hat - whenever I get a burrito to go, the ridiculously addictive chips always disappear five minutes after I leave and I'm left rooting through the bag morosely once they're gone. The burritos themselves probably won't generate epiphanies or trigger near-religious experiences, but they're pretty darn good all the same, eaten fresh or microwaved for breakfast the next day. 

El first introduced us to the joys of Benito's Hat late in first year - being a vegetarian burrito lover, she'd checked out all the possible joints in London before proclaiming this her favourite. I tried the pulled pork version my first time, and have stuck with it  since. It's a terrible place for a first date given the savagery of burrito eating and the accompanying mess of inevitable juice drippage, but if you're with friends who don't care if you have a freak accident where half your food tumbles out onto the plate, then you're good to go.

From multiple experiences at the store, service has always been impeccable. Normally, I only manage to polish off half my densely packed burrito in store and have to take the rest with me. The staff have always been ready to wrap my leftovers in another layer of foil and toss another handful of chips into the takeout bag. There was also one evening I faced a half hour wait for a new batch of pulled pork to be prepared, and was given a free serving of nachos with guacamole to munch on as I waited. 

Pulled pork burrito - refried beans, hold the cheese, extra tomato, medium salsa
19 New Row, London WC2N 4LAhttp://www.benitos-hat.com/

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