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Benny Hannas?

Shanab Dec 9, 2007 08:05 PM

My Mom speaks of a place she loved in Seattle called Benny Hannas, I might possibly be spelling it incorrectly, however this is how I recall it sounded. I heard it was a fun experience and great Chinese food. I cant seem to find anything on the internet--looking for a location, menu and to learn what your experience was. Thanks!

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  1. d
    donttrustsnakes RE: Shanab Dec 9, 2007 08:34 PM

    Try a search for Benihana.

    5th and University. Most known as a chain of mass-market-oriented Japanese teppanyaki restaurants. In Seattle, they have a very nice all-you-can-eat sushi buffet at lunch on weekdays for about $15, about the best deal on prepared food you will find in the city. No Chinese food that I know of.

    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: Shanab Dec 9, 2007 08:57 PM


      can be an entertaining show for a first-timer, food is nothing special and VERY greasy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        Shanab RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 9, 2007 11:06 PM

        Thank you.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          crt RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 12, 2008 08:08 AM

          Just an FYI - The link you provided is not working. I even tried to access it through the link provided via a Google search and that didn't work.

        2. Azizeh Barjesteh RE: Shanab Dec 9, 2007 11:10 PM

          I go to Benihana fairly frequently. I love the fried rice. It's Japanese, not Chinese. And while it's not the greatest food ever, it's good and consistent. And it's always amusing to watch your food being cooked. I don't think it's expensive, but some people do, and it's a very popular special occasion place. I don't like going for birthday's because everyone does and you feel less special when you hear them singing to 5 other people while you're there. But, definitely try it and take her if she wants to go. Even if it doesn't wow you, it shouldn't give you buyers remorse. I've also never found it to be greasy. They do use oil on the grill, but in the dozens of times I've been, I've never felt ill (I'm a little sensitive to fat and sugars.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh
            Leonardo RE: Azizeh Barjesteh Dec 10, 2007 06:53 AM

            It's ultra Americanized fake Japanese. Expensive, and not worth it. Perhaps go once in a lifetime to see them throw salt shakers and food in the air, if that floats your boat.

            1. re: Leonardo
              papaya77 RE: Leonardo Dec 10, 2007 12:28 PM

              This reminds me of something I hadn't thought of in a while- there used to be a similar restaurant chain in CA called Tachibana, and when I was young my family took a few Japanese exchange students there for dinner. The students were very interested in the style of cooking (on the table in front of you), chefs throwing knives up in the air etc., and asked if this was a traditional American restaurant! They had never seen anything like it. Pretty funny.

          2. a
            AlbertaHound RE: Shanab Dec 10, 2007 08:56 PM

            Go with Azizeh's opinion, and not Leonardo's. It's fun and delicious. Get the steak, and have the shrimp first course. I've never been there "on purpose," but when I find myself there as part of a birthday party or whatever, I love it - the dressings, the sauces, the juicy steaks. Fabulous! Sure it's a chain, but if you look at the pictures, you'll see celebrities such as basketball stars, movie stars, and John Lennon. Who are you going to believe: Leonardo or John Lennon? I rest my case.

            8 Replies
            1. re: AlbertaHound
              Shanab RE: AlbertaHound Dec 11, 2007 12:45 AM

              Wow sounds like fun at least, and thats what we are looking for a memorable moment for the older Great Grandparents (60-70's) as well as the younger ones who have never been, appreciate it! We want to make memories! Thank you.

              Oh and this was funny--- "if this was a traditional American restaurant!"

              1. re: Shanab
                kkbriggs RE: Shanab Dec 12, 2007 08:17 AM

                You might check out Sakuras in Tacoma (3630 S Cedar St, not too far from the Tacoma Mall), since from your other posts it looks like you might be in Kitsap county and this would be a shorter drive. The atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired, but the food is good and the experience is fun. I think the prices are a little better than Benihana's, too.

                1. re: Shanab
                  Atomica RE: Shanab Dec 12, 2007 12:07 PM

                  Ah yes, I can picture the memories: "We had such a wonderful time together. Too bad the food was so terrible!"

                  My suggestion for "fun": Get a tatami room at Maneki, or even Bush Garden would be better than Benihana.

                2. re: AlbertaHound
                  Lauren RE: AlbertaHound Dec 11, 2007 08:07 AM

                  I'll give you fun - but delicious? No way. The quality of the products they use are so low that there is no way to make it delicious.

                  1. re: Lauren
                    chefguy RE: Lauren Dec 11, 2007 02:02 PM

                    I disagree - the red meat is juicy and delicious. Maybe the lobster tails are frozen, but the red meat is excellent. Organic? Certainly not. But tasty? I'd say yes...

                    1. re: chefguy
                      Lauren RE: chefguy Dec 12, 2007 09:25 AM

                      How do you feel about the quality of the vegetables?

                      1. re: Lauren
                        bluedog67 RE: Lauren Dec 12, 2007 11:15 AM

                        what vegetables? the onion, a carrot and 1/2 a zuccini? they are ok, but you really shouldn't be at this place for the food. it is all about the flare. my kids love it.

                        1. re: bluedog67
                          Lauren RE: bluedog67 Dec 13, 2007 09:03 AM

                          My point exactly (see my previous post). I'm only responding to those who are claim it has good food.

                3. Shanab RE: hhlodesign Dec 12, 2007 11:55 AM

                  Appreciating all the opinions! We are still torn on Brunch at the Needle, here and a few others. I really wish the dinner train didnt go away! Are there any other dinner trains close to Kitsap/Seattle areas?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Shanab
                    dimsumfan RE: Shanab Dec 12, 2007 12:14 PM

                    This is starting to turn into a useful link for the worst food experiences in Seattle:
                    1. Space Needle
                    2. Benihana
                    3. Washington Dinner Train (RIP)

                  2. knowspicker RE: Shanab Dec 12, 2007 07:00 PM

                    I've been a couple times and the food is okay not great. The steak is really not bad at all. It's fun to watch the show. If you do try it you might want to wait until January. Every year they have a promo where it's like $20.07 [or whatever year it is] for dinner for 2 during January. Don't expect too much and at that price it's a fun dinner out with pretty good food. I personally wouldn't be likely to go and pay full price since there are other places I would rather go for the money but on the promo you might find it a fun night out.

                    1. m
                      Mark Nobe RE: Shanab Dec 13, 2007 06:06 AM

                      If your Mom wants to go to Benihana, take her to Benihana. My mother came to visit and we did everything she wanted to do; brunch at the needle, ferry to Victoria and the garden, a walk around Stanley Park in Vancouver and dinner in White Rock. She had the time of her life and passed away two weeks later, a very happy woman. You have plenty of time to impress yourself with the great restaurants in this town. If your Mom wants to go to Benihana...TAKE HER TO BENIHANA!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Mark Nobe
                        AlbertaHound RE: Mark Nobe Dec 13, 2007 10:35 AM

                        Exactly. Its important to answer Chowhound queries with the perspective of the audience in mind. Frequently, one's own opinion can be so strong and forceful that it scares someone away from a place that they otherwise would enjoy. Your mom will love the Space Needle and Benihana. If schedule permits, round out the trip with a foodie mecca like Harvest Vine, Matt's on the Market, or Lark. Then you can have fun comparing notes!

                      2. vegasmike RE: Shanab Dec 31, 2007 09:59 PM

                        Benihana is just fun, don't go there to be a food critic. Here in Las Vegas, us locals get 25% off, so it is even better!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: vegasmike
                          HollyDolly RE: vegasmike Jan 2, 2008 11:59 AM

                          Correct me if I'm wrong,but during the 1980s didn't they market a line of frozen foods?
                          I swear I saw it at the Handy Andy on Thousand Oaks at Jones Maltzberger in San Antonio.Never bought any,but I'm sure i'm not imagining it.
                          They do have one of the restaurants here in town,but haven't tried it.

                          1. re: HollyDolly
                            CrazyOne RE: HollyDolly Jan 2, 2008 06:14 PM

                            Yes. In fact, growing up in the 80s I knew it only as a line of frozen foods, and I think only because of TV commercials for them. I don't recall us ever buying them or even if they were available in our area, and I never realized they were a restaurant chain until much later. We had restaurants nearby of that style, just no actual Benihana. I think I've eaten in such a place exactly once in my life, some years ago. ;-)

                        2. Das Ubergeek RE: Shanab Jan 3, 2008 08:17 AM

                          Oh heavens. If your mom wants to go to Benihana, for heaven's sake take her. It's not a good restaurant, and I find the show cheesey (I'm sorry, I don't want you flinging hot shrimp at my mouth), and the food bland. But it's about your mother, and if she desperately wants to go, then go. When it's your birthday, you pick a different place. :)

                          1. SweetPea914 RE: Shanab Jan 5, 2008 09:08 PM

                            I will always have a fondness for Benihanna. In college we went to the one on Long Island almost every Friday night. The "show" is cheesy, but I love their ginger dressing and the dipping sauces. Compared to cafeteria food, it was by far the best meal we had all week! Also it reminded me of a place back home called Sakura that had the same basic food and premise.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: SweetPea914
                              pusherman RE: SweetPea914 Jan 6, 2008 10:47 AM

                              I was just at the Seattle location last night, for a friend who wanted to go on her birthday. She's a reasonably sophisticated foodie, but something about the hibachi and whirling knives spoke to her and she wanted to go, and what the birthday girl wants...

                              Anyway, the food was OK - not anything to get excited about, but definitely decent (the filet was the best). And you get a lot, light eaters could probably share an entree. But more importantly, it was fun to sit around the big round hibachi with all of our friends and share the experience. For groups - especially widely intergenerational groups - I don't think it's a bad way to go at all.


                              1. re: pusherman
                                spellweaver16 RE: pusherman Jan 6, 2008 01:51 PM

                                And even if you don't have a big group, it's great to sit around with a bunch of strangers and get acquainted :)

                            2. Chew on That RE: Shanab Jan 11, 2008 11:15 AM

                              It's called Benihana and it's one of those places where you sit at chef stations and they cook in front of you. It's a lot of fun but one of a whole multitude of restaurants just like this. I have a personal favorite of this style restaurant so Benihana doesn't stick out in my mind. No complaints though either!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Chew on That
                                Mark Nobe RE: Chew on That Jan 12, 2008 07:30 AM

                                What is the name and location of your personal favorite? What do they do or have that makes you like it?

                              2. Shanab RE: Shanab Jun 14, 2009 01:58 AM

                                In answer to my own question above! No Thank you! We went for my Son's 20th Birthday...If you like LOTS of onions in everything, (want to smell like fried onion), and butter flavored lard, great! In all fairness for 4 people, we had chopped pcs of lobster in a shell (advertised as lobster TAIL...wasnt a full tail, it was pcs in a tail shell) with steak (tender, seared well and tasty) and rice, yakisoba w/ veggies & chicken (didn't taste, looked ok), steak and rice and steak and rice...(2) crunchy crab rolls which were very good and pineapple for dessert, total $196 + tip! If one says you go for the atmosphere and fun, then I will find someplace else with atmosphere, fun and great food. I felt like we were rushed in and out-I also noticed some Chefs have way more fun at their tables than others. Will not go again.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Shanab
                                  Bakersfield Hound RE: Shanab Jun 14, 2009 09:16 AM

                                  It's all about the name. You're better off finding a local restaurant that does teppanyaki. That way you're support a local business and get the same meal for less.

                                  1. re: Shanab
                                    Fibber McGee RE: Shanab Jun 15, 2009 12:41 PM

                                    Life is about experiences, is it not? You can now say you've had your Benihana experience. Nowhere to go but up now.

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