When I heard Benny’s Bar and Grill was coming to the Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall, I had high hopes for a great family restaurant. While Bethesda has several wonderful restaurant options, we had yet to find our “family restaurant” - that place where food is made with love, children enjoy it as much as their parents, and memories are made. With Benny’s, I think we may have found that place.
Benny’s has an old Hollywood 1940’s look and feel. An old jukebox and antique radio greet diners at the hostess stand, glossy photos of starlets adorn the walls, and neon lights cast a colorful glow on the beautiful tin ceiling tiles.
Our waitress was was prompt in greeting us and enthusiastic in answering our questions. We started off with a cup of chili to share. I had just come off having a cold, so something warm and spicy sounded good. The chili was fantastic. It was a house-made bean and beef chili topped with cheddar cheese and tortilla strips, and served piping hot.
For our entree, we decided to split the White House Chopped Salad and the Turkey Burger. The salad consisted of hearts of romaine, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, apples, scallions, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, ranch dressing, and BBQ sauce. The ingredients were fresh and the portion was huge.
The turkey burger was probably one of the best turkey burgers we’ve ever had at a restaurant, period. It was so juicy and had a great flavor profile. The burger was served with Pepper Jack cheese, sliced tomato, and roasted red pepper aioli, with fries and cole slaw on the side. It was served open-faced, but here is a photograph of the cross-section, which is usually my favorite way to photograph a burger.
For dessert, we split a slice of the cheesecake. We honestly weren’t expecting much. Cheesecake is cheesecake at most family eateries. What we got, however, was incredible. It was made in-house and baked in a chocolate crust. So craveable.
Aside from the friendly service and old Hollywood feel, what makes Benny’s so wonderful is the fact that everything seems to be handmade right there in the kitchen. Nothing tasted like it came out of a bag. Nothing tasted frozen. Everything tasted like it was made with love from a family kitchen.
I look forward to making my way through the menu. While we didn’t explore the drink menu on our last visit, Benny’s promises the best drinks in town, so we’ll be sure to check those out next time!
Welcome to the neighborhood, Benny’s!