Celebrated for its innovative approach to chef inspired Tex-Mex cuisine, as well as its extensive cocktail and spirits offerings, Benji’s Cantina is now open for lunch service, featuring a distinctive lunchtime menu every Monday throughSaturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a convenient and lively downtown Austin location. While all items on Benji’s sizable bar and cocktail menu will be available during lunch service, the newly developed lunch menu includes many unique lighter-fare lunch dishes, as well as a few Benji’s standards that have become Austin favorites.
Benji’s lunchtime appetizer, soup and salad selections include the classic Tortilla Soup($7); Caesar Salad ($8; add chicken, $13; add shrimp, $16), comprised of fresh baby romaine, Vella dry jack cheese, hominy croutons and a smoked chili dressing; the Chopped Salad ($8; add chicken, $13; add shrimp, $16), a vibrant mix of assorted greens, tomato, chickpeas, pepitas, corn, cilantro, avocado and queso fresco served with a toasted cumin vinaigrette; the Chili Rubbed Salmon Salad ($14) served with watercress, baby spinach, roasted corn, pepitas, heirloom cherry tomatoes and a honey chipotle dressing; and theTomato Crab Salad ($10), sliced heirloom tomatoes served with lump crab meat, avocado and cilantro sprouts in a chili lime vinaigrette.
Benji’s flavorful lunchtime tortas, or sandwiches, include the savory Torta Carnitas ($11), pork carnitas, refried black beans, avocado, tomato, smoked chili mayo and fresh greens served on a bolillo roll; the Torta Oyster ($12), a seductive combo of crispy oysters, mixed greens, jalapeno-basil aioli, cilantro and heirloom cherry tomatoes; the Torta Pollo ($11), chicken tinga, refried black beans, avocado, tomato, smoked chili mayo and fresh greens served on a bolillo roll; and the indulgent Texas Melt ($14), braised short rib, caramelized onions, roasted poblanos and smoked cheddar served with an ancho au jus.
Entrées on the lunchtime menu include Benji’s famous signature fajitas with grilled beef(1/4 pound, $16; 1/2 pound, $22; 1 pound, $40), grilled chicken (1/4 pound, $14; 1/2 pound, $28; 1 pound, $30) or grilled shrimp (1/4 pound, $15; 1/2 pound, $20; 1 pound, $37), as well as the Senorita Fajita Plate ($15) with beef or chicken, all served in a sizzling anafre alongside fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream. Benji’s Enchiladas($14) are stacked with a choice of seasoned tenderloin, pulled chicken, pork or crab and shrimp, and served with a choice of sauces, including rojo, verde, mole or rojo caliente, alongside Rancho Gordo charro beans and Mexican rice. The Pollo entrée ($16) includes a grilled chicken breast, roasted corn, avocado, jalapenos, cilantro and heirloom tomatoes. Benji’s lunchtime menu will also feature a rotating Wood Fired Market Fish daily special ($17).
Benji’s decadent lunchtime desserts ($5) include flan, chocolate mousse and key lime pie.
Daily lunch will be served in Benji’s downstairs festive bar and lounge, which includes ample seating at community tables that face a bustling West Sixth Street scene, great for people-watching and lunchtime conversation.
Benji’s Cantina is located at 716 W. Sixth St., in downtown Austin. Benji’s is open for lunch service Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner service from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday andSaturday. Benji’s also offers Sunday brunch service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about Benji’s new lunch service, visit www.BenjisCantina.com.
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