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Benihana, a Huge, Florida-Based Teppanyaki Chain Founded in 1964 with Three Area Locations


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Sometimes life is cruel.  Root canal surgery that goes wrong.  Infected dry socket.  And sometimes you take a four hour Bolt Bus to New York City and have dinner at Benihana.  Sometimes you have a girlfriend.  And sometimes she has a friend that is turning 30.  Sometimes this soon-to-be 30 year old has a weird thing for Benihana.  And sometimes this soon-to-be 30 year old decides that turning 30 at Benihana would be...fun.  And sometimes you just have to suck it up and be the good boyfriend.

Was it bad...no not really.  Was it good...no not really.

The onion soup was watery with two strands of something that looked like onion.  The salad was at least fresh and crisp.  The shrimp appetizer was overcooked.  At one point our chef put a pile of teppanyaki-ed onions on my plate for no apparently reason other than they were cooked and he needed room on the hibachi.  The sushi rolls didn't completely suck.  The spicy tofu was competent.  And I would actually give them some kudos for their fried rice.

It's a food factory, the place was packed, and I'm sure they made a lot of money Saturday night.  I'll chalk it up as one of those life experiences...remember when we took the bus to New York City and had dinner at Benihana.  Good times.  Good times indeed.       

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Having dinner at Benihana is not *that* bad.

Having dinner at Benihana during a New York City trip is the worst thing in the world.

No, make that the second worst thing: try navigating their website with your speakers on. *That* is the worst thing in the world - they have the worst website of any restaurant of this size that I'm aware of.

And you know what's jaw-dropping? This multi-bazillion dollar chain (which, surprisingly, has only about 100 outlets) has printed on their website, in large letters: "About Behihana." No, really - click on "About Benihana" and see for yourself.

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ETA, as of 10/27/13 (or, sometime before that), they fixed the typo on their website, so don't go hunting for it.

Edited by DonRocks
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I used to go to the midtown Benihana in 1995 and 1996. As a recent college grad, my work-friend and I would sometimes want to mix up our lunches of deli sandwiches. We thought Benihana was kitschy but fun. Our usual order was dumplings and fried rice. We could usually make it back to the office and Lotus Notes within the allotted hour. Usually.

But I feel your pain. If I had to take a bus to NYC, Benihana would be very far down the list of places to dine.

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