Typically when searching for the taco of your dreams, you’ll be presented with a few options but there are 3 prominent ones that reign supreme from taco trucks to full on restaurants: Carne Asada, Pollo and Al Pastor. These are taco staples and each has their own strong points but what do we really know about these meats? How did they become such staples of taco culture and how are they prepared? Well, that sounds like something Benny’s Tacos would love to explore, so we’re doing it! Let’s get started.
At its face value carne asada is translated as “grilled meat” but clearly it goes way beyond that. There are a number of unique recipes that encompass the carne asada name but typically the meat will be thinly sliced, have a charred taste to it (even if just a bit) and marinated, rubbed, or served as is. Flank and skirt steak are the most popular cuts of carne asada but other cuts of meat have been used as well.
When it comes to carne asada’s origins, the exact preparations are impossible to pin down. However, cow’s were not native to the America’s prior to Columbus’ arrival and with that expedition came the spread of cows to the new world. Cows in the past were thinner, thus the meat procured from them was sliced accordingly. This glorious thing eventually merged itself with the tortilla and the wonderful staple of carne asada tacos was born. But there is more than one type of taco…
Pollo is just chicken, right? Well, when put in a taco… not exactly. Regular old chicken isn’t going to do it, you need some spices! Taco chicken is typically diced into smaller bits or shredded but marinated with a slew of ingredients. You don’t have to use all of them, but some of the big ones are Garlic, chopped onions, chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin and even tomato sauce! The flavor has to have enough of a kick to stand out from the other meats and, when done right, it absolutely does!
In terms of how pollo came to be such a staple, it was at first thought to be the same journey as the cow. We say at first because only a few years ago it was discovered that there were some chickens native to South America called Araucana. Originally, chickens were thought to come exclusively from South Asian and East Asia, but there have been reports of small clades found around the world. The history of chickens being used as food is a little harder to pinpoint but the Americas soon turned it into a dietary staple!
This is one the best alternatives to carne asada and pollo around, a true staple of Mexican cuisine with an interesting history: its al pastor! This amazing meat is actually done in the shawarma style, similar to most kebabs and gyros. Al pastor consists of pork marinated in chilies, spices, and pineapple. The pineapple typically sits on top of the pork which is cooked on a vertical rotisserie. This history of this one is very interesting.
Al pastor was introduced by Lebanese immigrants making their way to Mexico. These late 19th century settlers began opening restaurants all across the country and their influence spread widely. Lebanese Mexicans initially only made up around 5% of the total immigrant population in Mexico but ended up operating half of the businesses run by immigrants at the time. The result was a culinary combination that became a staple of the countries cuisine, and something we happily serve at Benny’s Tacos!
Tacos obviously encompass more than these three types of fillings, but it’s hard to deny the significance of these three taco staples. Be it carne asada, pollo, al pastor, carnitas, shrimp, or veggies, Benny’s Tacos has the right taco for you! So taste a bit of culinary history and visit Benny’s Tacos today, or order online! Feel free to follow us on Facebook and instagram for all things taco… and more!
The world is changing, and Benny’s Tacos is taking the initiative with some very environmentally friendly new policies! This year many major businesses are taking on a more ecological approach to their utensils, from spoons to straws, and for good reasons! Globally, more than 300 million TONS of plastic is produced annually. That brings another big issue – plastic, for the most part, is not biodegradable and that stuff has to go somewhere. Recycling helps but that new plastic is still being pumped out at a high rate and with no definitive end in sight, at least not without making some major changes. Here are a couple things we’re doing here at Benny’s Tacos.
Plastic straws are a major source of ocean pollution (mostly because they don’t really biodegrade) and Benny’s wants to tackle this. We’re going the paper straw route so that we reduce waste and provide products that will properly biodegrade with time. Many businesses are moving in this direction for the New Year and we are proud to join them. The path to becoming environmentally friendly starts with these small steps.
Speaking of no plastic, we’ve changed the way we do utensils! Our new, environmentally friendly forks, knives and spoons use modern wood based material that makes them every bit as strong as a plastic utensil but without all the major pollution that comes with them. This will break down in a way that’s safer for the earth and still provides a great option to chow down on your favorite burrito bowl from Benny’s Tacos!
Utensils Upon Request
It’s surprising how many people don’t actually use the utensils given to them for their meals, and her at Benny’s Tacos we want to do what we can to cut down on the waste. To avoid having to throw away forgotten, unused utensils we will be changing how we give them out. Reducing waste and providing great food? That’s our aim with Benny’s environmentally friendly policies and we believe this is the path forward for all major restaurants.
Looking to the Future
We here at Benny’s Tacos are always looking for ways to improve our business and meet the demands of the modern restaurant visitor. We do this by making amazing food, trying new recipes, delivering fantastic service, catering all your favorite events and staying up to date with the latest in the industry. Taking a more environmentally friendly approach is just another way Benny’s Tacos is working to change the world for the better! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular pictures of our amazing food or visit our website and order it for yourself!
The history of the taco is somewhat illusive. While we have records of the tools and materials used in many of the foods of Mexico, it is far harder to prove when exactly certain ingredients were combined. People weren’t exactly writing about their diet in diaries. However, we do know the history of tortillas pretty well, and we can assume that where there were tortillas, someone was probably using them as a taco.
The domestication and widespread use of corn can be traced back around 9,000 years ago to southern Mexico. As one of the earliest cultivated vegetables, corn was used all across the region and was quickly adapted into what we would come to know as tortillas.
Though tortillas were eaten for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the Aztecs came along that we had any proof that they were being used for tacos.
It is believed that Aztecs (1428-1521) ate several tortillas with every meal, and there are some records that help support this. But more importantly, this nearly 100 year period is when we got our first written account of the food that would become tacos.
The First Taco
The earliest anthropological record of tacos dates to the 15th or 16th century in the Valley of Mexico. It is believed that the indigenous people of the lake region ate tortillas filled with fish (meaning the first taco could be a fish taco!). There are writings from when the Spanish arrived in 1517 and enjoyed a feast of tacos, so we know that the native peoples had been eating them long enough for it to be a tradition they shared with the conquistadors.
However, some believe the term was first coined in Mexican silver mines, as the term tacos de mineros (miner’s tacos) appears in the late 19th century and is the first example of modern use of the term.
Whether it was 9,000 years ago or 500 years ago, what is certainly true is that tacos as a dish have constantly evolved and changed. For natives of South America, a taco is always a corn tortilla, it is not fried, and it is rarely served with things like lettuce and cheese. Instead, it is often garnished with onions, guacamole, salsa, or other sauces. Since the origins of the corn tortilla, the taco has been endlessly articulated and adapted to suit environments and populations though.
For instance, flour tortillas are a relatively recent addition to variations on tacos. Most of Mexico was not cultivating wheat until they began interacting with the Americas and trade opened. This is one of the reasons that ‘American tacos’ are more commonly larger and use flour tortillas whereas most Mexican people would shake their heads at such an idea. Even more bizarre to them would be the trend of frying taco shells.
While the fried shell has become common across much of America, it was definitely not invented in Mexico. Like the original taco, it is hard to say when the ‘hard-shell’ tradition of tacos started, but some experts believe it came from none other than Taco Bell founder Glen Bell in the early 1960s. Bell needed a way to mass produce tacos and frying and storing shells was far more efficient than cooking them on-site. Thus, the American taco was born.
Nowadays, there has been a resurgence in traditional, Mexican tacos, but millions of Americans still know and love fried shell tacos or flour tortilla tacos with lettuce and tomato.
Here at Benny’s Tacos, we don’t take sides. As long as it is delicious, that is all that matters, and we offer a variety of tacos that blend the old and the new. Check out our menu today!
If you’re craving a quick, delicious Mexican meal and look past the burritos and tacos there’s one option that stands out: the quesadilla. Quesadillas are a staple of Mexican family kitchens everywhere and because of their broad appeal they have evolved tremendously over time. A simple food, the standard quesadilla is a combination of either two corn or flower tortillas or one folded over with cheese and other fillings in the middle. Once it is fried or toasted, it finally becomes a full quesadilla: Golden, Gooey and delicious. The name is derived from the word “queso” which is Spanish for cheese. Now, we can tell where the named came from but when, where and how did we start eating these lovely meals?
It All Started with the Tortilla
The origins of the corn tortilla are very, very hard to track down but it is known that they do pre-date the arrival of the Spanish to Mexico by quite a bit. Maize was a major staple in the ancient Aztec diet and was used to develop masa, the dough that would end up being the foundation for tortillas. In 1519 the Native Mexican populations were greeted to the Spaniards, led by Hermando Coretz, and the new arrivals noticed this flat maize bread was different than what they were used to from the Old World. It was called “tiaxcalli” by the native Nahuatl population but the Spanish eventually established it as “tortilla” (little cake) and added some meat to it that would ultimately form the early quesadilla (turnover style foods were very popular in Medieval Spain).
Changing with the Times
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, meat in quesadillas was rare as meat in general was consumed far less but with this addition the Old World and the New World were brought together and created a brand new, delicious meal. In time Dominican Monks would introduce Oaxaca cheese to Mexico and create what would be the cheese of choice… for a time. As the world evolved, so did the base of the quesadilla. To meet the demands of major cities, grain was used to create flour tortillas, which would become one of the default options when it comes to quesadillas. With their expansion far from slowing down, new types of cheeses were utilized as the food reached new regions, especially in the Southwestern U.S. where Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Colby Jack cheeses became the dominant filling. The journey never ceases though, and Benny’s has some quesadilla options that’ll make your mouth water.
Here at Benny’s Tacos we serve some of the best quesadillas across Los Angeles! They’re served with flour tortillas, jack cheese and caramelized onions with poblano chilies. Some of our options include the delicious veggie quesadilla with grilled veggies and mushrooms, two types of chicken quesadillas (rotisserie and chipotle), and of course the carnitas, carne asada, and shrimp quesadillas. Most restaurants have their own spin on the formula and while we have our strong base of ingredients we also make sure you have plenty of meat and cheese to go around. These quesadillas will get you full! So drop by today and enjoy a food that is the perfect mix of old and new, and has come a long way since it’s early inception. Quesadillas are here to stay, and we plan on delivering the best!
Mexican take out handily reigns supreme over all other forms of take out! Okay, so we may be a tad bit biased here at Benny’s Tacos Chicken and Rotisserie but we do have a pretty good case to back this up. Sure, we can directly compare ourselves to those other forms of take out but we believe there are some truly fundamental reasons that make Mexican take out the best take out! So let’s take a deep dive to why you should make a point to pick up some solid Mexican food when you’re feeling your hunger levels rise.
Variety is the Name of the Game
When it comes to options, Mexican take out is practically unmatched. Think about it – you get a variety of meats done in a number of styles. If we look at the example of pork you can turn it into al pastor or carnitas, with chicken we get a rotisserie and chipotle and there’s always good ol’ beef with its bevy of preparation options. Not a carnivore? Almost everything has a vegetarian option these days and Mexican food uses the fundamentals in very unique ways. Additionally, all kinds of dishes fit great in a to-go box. Stuff some tacos, grab a couple burritos or even do a full plate. Mexican food is dynamic and makes for a great pick up when you’re in the mood, there’s so much to choose from. And as for after picking it up…
The Smell and the Anticipation
One of the best sensations after receiving freshly prepared food is entirely nasal. Your sense of smell works very closely with your sense of taste, more so than any other sensations you have in your body. Smell creates a perception of flavor and fresh Mexican take out can create a build up that will make that first bite extra special. So when you leave the restaurant with your new batch of tacos or supreme fries, your journey will tease you just enough so that when you do finally make it home your sense of anticipation can allow for a fantastic meal, something well worth the wait. Now speaking of the meal itself…
You Can Feed A LOT of People
One of the great things about Mexican take out (Mexican food in general, really) is that it’s often times meant to feed a lot of people or feed one person REALLY well. Who has gotten a giant burrito only to cut it in half or let someone have the unfinished portion? Tacos are inexpensive enough to where purchasing numerous ones in different styles is a very reasonable option. One order of nachos can feed three people on a Saturday night sitting around trying to figure out where to go next. The sensation of coming home with something to eat that feeds everyone is a wonderful one, and it being generally affordable compared to other options is a huge bonus. Mexican food allows you to do more with less and there’s usually something for everyone.
So, if you’re Feeling Hungry…
…We know a great place that does Mexican Take out (Hint: You’re on the site right now). Benny’s offers a variety of options on our menu, so everyone can find something they like. Benny’s Tacos and Rotisserie does dine-in, to-go, Uber Eats and all kinds of other orders so you can have your fantastic Mexican food anyway you like it anywhere you like it. Feed your family, feed a friend, feed yourself or feed a stranger, whatever way you want to do to do it we can help get the food where it needs to go and make for a wonderful dinner anyone can enjoy. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for a up close look at some of our best eats and come by any of our three locations (Santa Monica, Culver City, and Westchester) when you’re feeling hungry, we got you covered!
While not seen in traditional Mexican restaurants, Supreme Fries have become a California staple and are often a great go-to before or after a big night on the town. They originated in San Diego and have since made their way across the state, picking up various distinctions between cities. Benny’s likes to go big though, and in addition to the standard ingredients and meat selection we offer optional pickled jalapenos and even beans as part of the serving (black or pinto… yeah, choice)! We recommend mixing and matching different meats and toppings to see which ones become your ideal Supreme Fries. Do you prefer Classic carne asada with all the main fixings? Maybe Rotisserie chicken with black beans is more your thing. How about carnitas with pinto beans and pickled jalapenos? The options are there and there’s never a bad time to try something new!
Supreme Fries, specifically the carne asada variation, are a recent invention (late 90s’) but have taken the South West portion of the United State by storm! It’s hard to walk into any California Mexican establishment and NOT find them but if you’re on a quest for the perfect combination that suits YOU… well, Benny’s has you covered. The ingredients are fresh, the fries are crisp, the meat is whatever you want it to be and your stomach will be happy you treated it to something tasty. Now, stop salivating over photos and head over to Benny’s. It’s a great time to indulge in this new California favorite!
Want more delicious pictures of food uploaded regularly? You should follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Or feel free to see if something else appeals to you on our menu and be sure to stop by the next time you are in the LA area.
For as long as we can remember, Taco Tuesday has been a tradition for restaurants and bars serving the tasty Mexican dish. The day is celebrated from college campus to small town to office complexes on lunch breaks, despite the fact that it arrives every single week. From a marketing standpoint, Taco Tuesday has been a restaurant owner’s best friend. It drives hungry mobs of taco lovers to a night out simply because of a catchy alliteration.
You might see #TacoTuesday on social media often. You’ll get the occasional message from a friend asking to participate in Taco Tuesday. In short, Tacos made Tuesdays popular. But where did this come from and why?
The Origin of Taco Tuesday
According to The Strange History of Taco Tuesday, the promotional phrase was started in 1982 by a chain called Taco John’s based out of Cheyenne, Wyoming. In fact, Taco John’s placed a registered trademark on the phrase in 1989 to attach it to their brand. They filed a lawsuit against another restaurant chain after seeing that it was used, but the lawsuit resulted in bad press so they have stopped enforcing their trademark. They still use it as their brand’s signature, and rightfully so!
Marketing Gold Mine
Taco Tuesday has helped bring business to taco eateries on a night in which not many decide to go out to eat. By using the phrase accompanied with a few promotions on tacos and/or drinks, Mexican restaurants can entice their target consumer base to enjoy a nice Tuesday night out for dinner. Usually, it isn’t just a taco deal that is indulged upon. This small ploy is used nationwide by many restaurants and it has driven highly successful results!
The Internet Sensation
Taco Tuesday, as mentioned before, is a phrase that you’ll see on social media often. It is one of the most popular hashtags (#TacoTuesday) on Twitter and Instagram. It is just a simple, catchy phrase that puts people in the mood for tacos! So why not use it?
Benny’s Taco TuesdayAt Benny’s Tacos, we celebrate our Taco Tuesday with a promotion that you can redeem here. If you’ve never participated in a Taco Tuesday before, please come join us!
Have a Hangover?At Benny’s Tacos, we make delicious Mexican food that also happens to be the best hangover food! We all know the feeling of having one too many at a party, or just on a regular night out. Waking up the next day could feel like a chore!
So what do you do? Drink a gallon of water and take ibuprofen. But why do that when a hearty, delicious meal can do the trick? In fact, greasy food is great as a preventive measure when drinking. According to Greatist, chomping down on it either during a night out or before going out can help absorb alcohol later as you’re drinking it. Assuming you forgot to stop by Benny’s Tacos before getting too intoxicated, we still have things on the menu that can serve as really good hangover food for the day after.
Menudo SoupOur homemade Mexican soup is actually one of our traditional hangover remedies. We make it with special ingredients (like beef, tripe, chile powder, green onions and a lot more!) and served with corn tortillas. Menudo is traditionally eaten on the weekends, which is why we only offer it on Saturdays and Sundays.
According to Latin Life Menudo, “is said to stimulate the senses, rejuvenate the insides, and clear the head.” And we can guess why, the spices! The spices we use really warm your body up. Meanwhile, stimulating your senses helps relieve your headache and that pesky overall hangover feeling that you have. If you really want to sweat the hangover out, toss in some hot sauce, to give those spices a real kick! You’ll find out why Menudo is the best food for hangovers when you try ours.
Too Hungover to Make FoodHangovers are a real nightmare! You’ve spent the morning trying to get out of bed and function, and by lunch or early evening, you’re finally ready to eat something. But you feel too weak, too tired, and too lazy to cook or prepare food (even the thought of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich seems like a huge task). That’s why you should come to Benny’s Tacos! If you’re going to be hungover, you might as well indulge in some tasty Mexican food. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and even rotisserie chicken can help you feel normal again with each bite. Let us cook and serve you while you consider the thought of drinking again. And if you don’t want to dine in, you can order your food to go, or if you feel too tired to make the trip you can order online from our two locations (in Westchester and Santa Monica). We have several options to order from like Grubhub, Eat24, UberEats, Doordash, and more! Let our delicious Mexican food cure your hangover.
The collegiate breakfast: nothing. Snack: a cup of noodles. Lunch: a cup of noodles. Dinner: an overpriced medley of semi-identifiable, extra-fried and sugary grub from the lackluster cafe. Freshman Fifteen is only one of the eating related issues associated with the college diet. Your studies and classes mandate you don’t stray too far from campus to merely have a decent lunch. Your looming tuition bills and overall lack of financial security keeps your food selections limited at best. Low quality food choices usually follow a small disposable income – you can’t constantly pay the extra money to eat the good food you want to eat. With poor ratings on Otis College’s on-campus food, it’s easy to want to search off campus for reasonably priced food that fills you up and tastes better than the cafe’s Meatloaf Surprise. (Gross.) Our Otis student discount special is your solution.
We’re affordable and in walk-able distance.
We offer a student discount that entails 10% off to all whom present a verifiable Otis student ID card and are dining-in. At only half a mile away from campus, it’s a matter of a 10 minute walk to get here. With the student discount, turn your college student diet from a deprived one into a robust and satisfactory one. It’s not sustainable to eat hot water and noodles and other microwavable foods all the time. Otis consistently demands high quality output from you. So to properly meet your need to maintain verve and energy throughout the day, the balance of nutritional value and healthy caloric intake is especially important. With our diverse menu ranging from veggie salads to a Whole Chicken plate, we can help you keep up with the quality output demanded of you. To receive the 10% off student discount, come by any day with your ID. We’re happy to engage and connect with our local community and look forward to seeing you enjoy your made-to-order meal!
Mmm, is there anything better than a good piece of rotisserie chicken? Whether you’re grabbing lunch in the middle of a long day at the office or looking for the perfect late lunch to punctuate a lazy Sunday afternoon, it always seems to hit the spot. When the meat is soft and tender, with just the right amount of seasoning and the perfect sauce on the side… we just made ourselves hungry just by talking about it.
For the uninitiated (shame on you) rotisserie chicken is a dish where the entire chicken is skewered by a single metal rod and either placed over a fire or roasted in an oven. In logical terms, it’s popular because it cooks the meat evenly and makes it easy for the cook to baste the chicken at precisely the right moments. But that’s just the logical side of it – in our hearts, we know that we love rotisserie chicken best because as the meet turns over the open flame its infused with the taste of Heaven.
Rotisserie chicken is a specialty at Benny’s Tacos, one of the dishes that made our famous and which keeps our loyal customers coming back week after week. We serve free range chicken, lightly seasoned with just the right amount of spices to give the tender meat a bit of kick. We offer a range of size options, ranging from half a chicken for a light lunch to a two full chicken combo meal that’ll feed a troop at a bargain price.
You Haven’t Had Chicken Until You’ve Tried Benny’s Rotisserie Chicken. Come on Down and Try Something Special. You Owe it to Yourself.
All of our rotisserie chicken dishes come with garlic paste, tortillas, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce. If you are looking for the best of all worlds, visit us on Monday, when the half chicken plate is one of our specials. Get our signature rotisserie chicken meat and sides for the scandalously low price of $7.25. Looking for a classic dish prepared with unparalleled skills and for a low price? The only place you’ll find your heart’s desire is Benny’s Tacos.
Monday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday8:30 AM - 10:00 PM