By Brandon Williams
IT’S THURSDAY evening in La Marque, which translates
into near capacity for Benito’s International Restaurant.
Thursday evening means fajitas and enchiladas,
as in all you can eat fajitas and enchiladas, for
If you’re here on Thursday, you’ve come with an Appetite
for perhaps the best Mexican food in Galveston
County. To give Benito’s such a lofty honor isn’t hyperbole.
As a La Marque native, it has been a known
fact since the first time I ate there more than 25 years
ago. Even as life took me around the country, making
it down home to let my love for Mexican food land
at 1309 1st Street felt like reacquainting with an old
“Without question, Thursday is our most popular
night,” said Will Andino, who handles much of
the cooking along with serving as a waiter (and
the man who knows when to flip the TV to the
Celtics-76ers basketball game). Andino is all too
familar with Thursdays; after all, his parents have
owned Benito’s since 1990.
Having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary,
Benito’s continues to strive forward despite
the decline in businesses around the area. La
Marque has gone through a variety of changes
over the past three decades that Cruz Leal has
owned the restaurant, yet Benito’s remains a
constant in the community.
“Business has slowed down a bit because the city
doesn’t have too many people,” said Andino. “The
changes in the schedules at the plants in Texas City
has kept a lot of our regular plant workers from coming
in as often as they once did.”
To that end, Benito’s is working on becoming more
than just a destination for La Marque residents. “We
want to convert into more areas that will make us an
attraction not only for La Marque but for the entire
county,” said Andino. “We like being known as one
of the best ‘hole in the wall’ restaurants in the area
yet we have a desire to reach out and bring in more
The doors are open from 11:00am to 8:00pm
(11:00am to 9:00pm on Thursdays and Fridays) and
while partaking in fajitas and enchiladas is the signature
draw, the menu is loaded with the best of traditional
Mexican food. Everything is made fresh and it
shows, with a flavor that draws you in and leaves your
taste buds asking for more.
“Benito’s is my mom’s passion,” said Andino. “She
has been cooking since she was a teenager and
comes in each day excited to cook.”
Needless to say, I was excited by her cooking on
Thursday night. It had been more than a year since
I have visited Benito’s and by the time I stepped out
the door, the words “I shall return” echoed in my ears.
Return I shall. And soon.
By Brandon Williams