Benny's Mofongo (BEHN-eez moh-FOHN-goh) (n.): A delicious Puerto Rican dish made of deep-fried plantains mashed together with garlic and pork rinds in a mortar with a pestle. (Also see: ¡Ay, m'ija, qué rico!)
The rest of Benny's menu is a Puerto Rican nostalgia trip, just like our tía abuela from Loiza used to make it, but the mofongo is porkily sublime, earning the place a visit from Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a few years ago. Served in a small mortar (or a large one for sharing with the rest of the table) with a side of chicken consommé (or caldo), mofongo comes plain or topped with fried pork, shrimp, chicken, steak, or lobster, for the truly indulgent. The mortars are cast with some sort of spell that leaves them incapable of emptying, no matter how much you fanatically shovel into your empanada-hole, but you won't mind taking your abundant leftovers with you while singing "La Borinqueña" the entire ride home. Get your mofongo on for lunch or dinner till 9 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on weekends. The original location is open Tuesday through Sunday, but the newest location, on NW 82nd Ave., is open seven days a week.