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Benny’s Mexican Kitchen – Bosque Farms, New Mexico

Whenever I need to leave it all behind
Or feel the need to get away
I find a quiet place, far from the human race
Out in the country

Before the breathin’ air is gone
Before the sun is just a bright spot in the nighttime
Out where the rivers like to run
I stand alone and take back somethin’ worth rememberin’

Whenever I feel them closing in on me
Or need a bit of room to move
When life becomes too fast, I find relief at last
Out in the country.”

Benny's Mexican Kitchen

Benny's Mexican Kitchen in Bosque Farms, New Mexico

In today’s dog eat dog rat race world (two bad animal metaphors in one sentence), who doesn’t dream of a peaceful idyll to which you can escape? Somewhere out in the country. *Appropriately the group expressing that sentiment so well in the above lyrics is Three Dog Night whose hit song “Out In The Country” made it to #14 in the pop charts back in August, 1970.

I know doctors, lawyers, scientists and people from other vocations who make their escape just fifteen minutes south of Albuquerque–to country life in verdant Bosque Farms.

Situated on the east side of the Rio Grande on a flat meadowy valley, Bosque Farms is a coalescence of rural, suburban and agricultural lifestyles along the braided routes of the historically significant Camino Real (the Royal Road) which skirts the Rio Grande.

Salsa and chips

Salsa and chips at Benny's Mexican Kitchen

Bosque Farms provides the relaxed rural atmosphere of a small village with the convenience of big city amenities nearby. It’s the type of village Oliver Wendell Douglas of Green Acres fame would have loved.

There’s something relaxing about seeing contented horses and fatted cows grazing on green grass as you drive toward the village from the north and take in the fresh aroma of dewy alfalfa. Yellow caution signage depicting a farmer on a tractor precedes acres of plowed fields. Other handmade signs offer hay or alfalfa for sale. This is truly country living just 20 minutes from Albuquerque.

While approximately three-quarters of Bosque Farms’ residents work in the Duke City, the village also claims several family owned and operated retail businesses within its boundaries. It’s no surprise that you’ll find numerous mercantiles supplying farmers with all they need to plant and harvest bountiful crops. What might be a surprise to city dwellers is the existence of a terrific restaurant which would be a hit in either the city or the country: Benny’s Mexican Kitchen.

The Benny Burger

The Benny Burger, one of the very best green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico!

Benny’s Mexican Kitchen has been serving Bosque Farms for more than thirty years. A second location in nearby Los Lunas is equally well known to Valencia county residents, but probably not to many Albuquerque citizens.

Perhaps befitting a small village, Benny’s is a relatively small restaurant those who don’t understand life in the country might describe as nondescript. That’s because they might not understand the premium small towns put on neighbors. The menus at Benny’s include advertisements for local businesses, similar to what you might see on a church bulletin. You might also see a posted notice announcing an upcoming benefit for a neighbor about to undergo an expensive operation or a fund-raising announcement for a  young fiesta queen candidate. That’s just the way it is out in the country.

You won’t find WiFi connectivity at Benny’s, but you will find a skill crane in the corner. These three pronged clawed contraptions will frustrate you at every turn no matter how deftly you maneuver the crane in an attempt to grab a stuffed animal. Benny’s is replete with charm–that and surprisingly good New Mexican food including some twists you won’t see in the big city.

Deep Fried Burrito

Benny's Deep-Fried Burrito

The menu features an assemblage of traditional New Mexican favorites: breakfast burritos, handmade tamales, green chile stew as well as a variety of sandwiches. It is best known for its deep-fried bean or beef burrito (emphasis on the “or”). Don’t dare call it a chimichanga; that’s an Arizona creation some self-respecting New Mexican restaurants just won’t put on their menus.

The deep-fried burrito is one of the specialties of the house. It’s about six-inches in length and topped with a garnish of fresh tomato and lettuce as well as shredded Cheddar cheese. The chile is a deep red, probably ground from chile pods and carefully strained. It is an earthy chile with plenty of flavor and a piquant bite.

Not surprisingly, you can feel and hear the crunch of the deep-fried tortilla as you cut or bite into it. It is a surprise to discover the tender beef encased within. It’s carne adovada tender and delicious.  In its 2008 “Best of the City” edition, Albuquerque The Magazine awarded Benny’s deep-fried burrito an Editor’s Pick for “best deep-fried frijoles.”

Another item for which Benny’s is famous in this part of the country is the Benny Burger, the king-sized version of which is a stacked beauty comprised of  double meat, double cheese, guacamole, green chile, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomatoes..  Because one might not be enough, you’ll want the king size version of this outstanding burger.

Taco plate

The Taco Plate at Benny's

I’ve heard tell that it’s one of the best green chile cheeseburgers in the entire state, an audacious claim to be sure. The inclusion of guacamole on a burger is an interesting twist, one that the Carl’s Junior franchise has  offered in its burger repertoire for years. It’s also a delicious one–if it’s the Benny burger version.  The guacamole and green chile marriage is my favorite way to go green.

After lustily consuming Benny King (the double meat, double cheese version of the Benny Burger), I’m ready to proclaim the rumors accurate. This is one of the very best green chile cheeseburgers in a state which serves the best green chile cheeseburgers in the entire universe. In fact, in the Albuquerque metropolitan area, I don’t know if there’s any comparable. About six-inches in circumference and skyscraper high, the Benny King burger is a two-fisted masterpiece of ingredients that go well together.  It’s so highly regarded, it was a natural for inclusion into the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

Green chile stew

Green chile stew

If you’ve ever lamented the impotence of the wimpy salsa (maybe made in New York City) served at some New Mexican restaurants, make the trip to Bosque Farms for a salsa your tongue will salute. Even though it’s heat comes from jalapenos and not New Mexican green chile, it’s a flavorful, endorphin-packing salsa. It’s served with warm, crisp, lightly-salted tortilla chips.

Benny’s taco plate features three crispy taco shells engorged with seasoned ground beef, lettuce and shredded cheese. Top them with salsa and you’ve got a delectable meal. The taco plate comes with rice and beans though you can opt for two orders of beans or rice.  Only the rice is unremarkable.

Remarkable is a good adjective to describe Benny’s green chile stew. There are literally hundreds of  recipes for green chile stew, all very personal yet most fairly standard, at least in terms of ingredients–cubed potatoes, green chile, stewed tomatoes, cubed pork, onion, garlic, etc..  The best recipes include something just a bit different or extra.  At Benny’s, it’s a few niblets of  sweet corn.  Corn is best scraped right off the cob and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out if this corn came from a nearby farm.  No matter how well ingredients may go together, if they’re not completely cooked (potatoes too hard or soft, cubed pork too tough, etc.), there’s just something lacking.  At Benny’s the green chile stew is perfectly prepared and a delicious prescription for winter doldrums.

Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada

Carne adovada is another Benny’s specialty.  It’s great on the deep-fried burrito and even better on its own.  The shredded pork is marinated in a cumin-free red chile and is as tender and moist as any in the Duke City area.  It’s topped with melting shredded cheese and served with Spanish rice and beans.  The best carne adovada is practically “melt in your mouth” tender.  Benny’s is that good.

Beverages include the usual fountain drink suspects as well as canned soda and fruit juices. Even better are old-fashioned milk shakes: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and pineapple, all made with hand-scooped ice cream. They are refreshing and delicious.

Benny’s Mexican Kitchen
1675 Bosque Farms Blvd.
Bosque Farms, NM
505-869-2210

LATEST VISIT: 27 December 2008
1st VISIT: 19 May 2007
# OF VISITS: 2
RATING: 21
COST: $$
BEST BET: Deep-Fried Burrito, Benny King Green Chile Cheeseburger, Salsa, Taco Plate, Pineapple Shake, Chocolate Shake, Carne Adovada, Green Chile Stew

Benny's Mexican Kitchen on Urbanspoon

  • Monica Cohn says:

    Dear Gil,

    I just recently tried Benny’s last week after hearing about it from my mother and brother for several years. I must agree it is EXCELLENT! I just had the regular Benny Burger Combo without the green chili or onions on it, but it was still a great treat even without those “extras”. The french fries were crisp and tasty too. It is such a shame that there is nothing like it in Albuquerque.
    I look forward to visiting it again and maybe trying some of the other dishes you described!

    It’s funny, but when Mario told me about your website, I was going to suggest Benny’s if you hadn’t been there. However I see you have discovered this hidden treasure.

    Best of Luck to You,
    Monica

    January 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM
  • John Lucas says:

    Gil and Monica,
    Gil, After your review we ventured south to Bosque Farms on the way to Bosque del Apache. Had the Benny burger combo and the carne adovada plate. Both excellent! — thou we agree the rice was unremarkable, but what Spanish rise IS remarkable?!? The quacamole on the burger was an interesting touch and the french fries were an unexpected delight. I would have like more green chili an the burger but then as I age my taster goes down hill. Tried Paradise Donuts for desert but they close at noon every day.
    Monica,
    For a good burger closer to home try the Little Red Hamburger Shack (formerly Wimpys) on Mountain Road NW. Green chili and cheese are free if you want them. John L

    February 4, 2009 at 10:27 PM
  • SARA ZAMORA says:

    I just want to say thank you to all the loylal and new customers that come in my families restraunt. We are happy we’ve been around so long to serve the great people of New Mexico.

    September 19, 2009 at 6:11 PM
  • tracy turner says:

    We were visiting New Mexico…we had stayed in Albuquerque for a few nights..we had asked people in town where we could find the most authentic and best New Mexican food around..well, we asked for the first 2 days and quite a few people had highly recommended a resturant named Benny’s Mexican Kitchen..however, they said it was not in Albuquerque, but it was 20 miles south of there in a place called Bosque Farms..They all said it was worth the drive..so the last day of our trip, we decided to venture to Benny’s…well, I am so glad we did because the food was fantastic.so authentic..everything was homemade…I mean everything…wow, WHAT A TREAT!…..I found out that the resturant has been there for over 35 yrs…I can see why.my favorite was the Benny Burger, it had double meat, double cheese, guacamole, green chili, etc. it was mouthwatering..My husband had an enchilada plate with red chili…They told my husband that the red chili was a little hot, however my husband devoured it..he said the chili was the best he has ever had…We have been coming to New Mexico for many years and have tried so many New Mexican resturants and had been told they were authentic…they were just okay…but not like Benny’s…They are the real deal!!!!!We are ready to go back to NM just to eat at Benny’s..

    August 26, 2011 at 8:48 PM
  • Michelle says:

    Benny’s is the best Ever!!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM
  • trevor trujillo says:

    Benny is the best place you could eat at in New Mexico. Puro Nuevo Mexico

    August 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM
  • Jen says:

    Another fabulous recommendation from Gil – the kid and I drove to Bosque Farms today to check out Benny’s. I had the carne adovada plate with an egg on top, and she had the chicken burrito, while we shared some guacamole and salsa. Huge portions, true NM flavor and heat. The server and kitchen staff were super happy to hear about this blog and the voluminous praise by Gil and commenters. Next week we return to try the GCC!

    September 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM
  • rendall says:

    yeah Benny’s is really good too..

    June 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

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