Taco Tuesdays are a firm favourite in our house, but sometimes we don’t limit ourselves to tacos once a week! One of our favourite fast casual restaurants in London is Benito’s Hat. This taco restaurant has expanded to several branches in London – a far cry from just a decade ago when Mexican food in London was fairly non-existent. Thanks to the Coronavirus lockdown in London, with the restaurants closed we’ve had to recreate the Benito’s Hat experience at home. Thanks to the Benito’s Hat restaurant cookbook, Everyone Loves Tacos, emulating a taco restaurant has been pretty easy!
Taco restaurant, Benito’s Hat, was very popular when it opened in 2008 thanks to the need for good Mexican restaurants in London. Like so many popular companies though, Benito’s Hat expanded too fast and went into administration in 2019. Four of the Mexican restaurants in London were closed, and four more restaurants survived.
In addition to Benito’s Hat, co-owner (and co-author of Everyone Loves Tacos) has a restaurant in Los Cabos in Mexico called Dona Nata Mexican Kitchen.
The Benito’s Hat restaurants that survived are in popular locations such as Oxford Circus, Covent Garden and Farringdon. We usually go to Benito’s Hat in Farringdon.
So who is Benito? The Benito in the name references a popular former Mexican president from the late 19th century.
The Love Affair With Tacos
Tacos are one of the mainstays of Mexican food – simple and easy to make and ubiquitous in Mexico. A taco is simply fillings inside a rolled tortilla (either corn or wheat). Along with the main fillings, you can add sides like cheese, guacamole, sour cream etc. It’s an easy way to make a main filling go a long way for a large group.
There are regional variations in taco fillings depending on what’s available in that particular region of Mexico. For example, fish tacos are popular in Baja California. Mexico City lays claim to tacos al pastor ( grilled pork) and marinated pork tacos in the Yucatan.
With the migrations of Mexicans to the USA, tacos became popular in the USA, too. Flour tortillas and hard shell corn tortillas are a result of Mexican migrants needing an easier way to store tacos. The traditional soft corn tortilla spoiled too fast. Wheat tortillas are popular mostly in Northern Mexico and the USA.
The Americans took tacos and spread their fame far and wide. The first Taco Bell opened in 1962 in California.The phrase Taco Tuesday started with the advertising slogan of a fast food American chain in the 1980’s. It’s now an indelible part of American cuisine. We’ve had tacos in Paris and in London. My kids adore Mexican food so we try to get it wherever we go.
Everyone Loves Tacos
The recipes in Everyone Loves Tacos are inspired by the Mexican restaurant in London, Benito’s Hat. They are a collaboration between Felipe Fuentes Cruz and Ben Fordham, owners of Benito’s Hat in London and Dona Nata in Cabo San Lucas.
We like the easy to follow format of this Taco cookbook.
We’ve made several recipes from this cookbook which we (and more importantly our children!) like. These are some of our favourite taco recipes from Everyone Loves Tacos.
- The spinach, chorizo and potato tacos
- Chicken Tinga tacos
- Chicken flautas
- Lobster and crab fritter tacos
- Califlower and chickpea tacos
These recipes from Everyone Loves Tacos have jazzed up our Taco Tuesdays with some variety. The recipes from Everyone Loves Tacos are super easy to make and can be done relatively fast.
Moreover, they are a tasty combination of flavours! For example, I never thought of cauliflower and chickpeas before! And, my kids really liked spinach , chorizo and potato combo – and the only one they were sure to like of those ingredients would have been the potato.
We have set up a taco bar in the summer so that people can feed themselves. With fussy children, they can take as much of the filling as they want and load up on sour cream and cheddar cheese as well. With vegetarian houseguests, a DIY taco will cater to their needs.
With the recipes from Everyone Loves Tacos, we have just upped our taco game! We have to confess we did not take their advice on sides because our family has their own favourite sides.
SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS FOR FUTURE REFERENCE!
We did not receive compensation of any form, monetary or otherwise, from any of the products, services, hotels etc mentioned in this article.
This site generates income via partnerships with carefully-curated travel and lifestyle brands and/or purchases made through links to them at no extra cost to you. More information may be found on our Disclosure Policy.