Beni Drill: A Statistical Analysis

by J.R.

Last night’s IIIiteracy featured perhaps the most scathing criticism of one Conference III city by a citizen of another.

In this case, Chicagoan “pk” lays in to St. Louis (emphasis mine):

Nice baseball stadium and hickey arena but other than that? Lotta slums. They don’t even have a Benihana! And I drive by a closed Burger King!

A lesser blog would simply list how many Benihanas…er, Beniahane each Conference III city has, but we at III Communication never take the easy way out. We need an in-depth analysis.

Benihana of Wheeling, Illinois

Benihana of Wheeling, Illinois


Number of Benihanae: Actually, much to pk’s chagrin — there are ZERO Benihanae in Chicago proper. BUT, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. There are three in America’s 51st state and 15th best amusement park Chicagoland.

Average Yelp! Score: Each of the three locations — Lombard, Schaumburg and Wheeling — come in at a respectable 3.5 stars.

What They’re Saying: “Our chef did the usual tricks: onion volcano, escaping shrimp, catching egg in pocket, catching shrimp tails in hat, behind-the-back rice bowl fill, showmanship with utensils, etc.  The kids loved it.  It was entertaining, and while we’ve never experienced a terrible or boring showing from the chef, depending on who you get, the cooking show will either be hilarious/lively/fun, or lackluster/mediocre.  Ours tonight did good, and while he put a little ‘oomph’ in there for the kids, it was still a little more on the ‘routine’ side – going through the motions, more than it was with the pizzazz that we’ve seen here before.  Regardless, still a good showing and food was cooked well.” – Irene Z. of Elk Grove Village, IL

Benihana of Dallas, Texas

Benihana of Dallas, Texas


Number of Benihanae: One in Dallas itself, plus locations in Plano and Irving.

Average Yelp! Score: Each of the three locations — Dallas, Irving and Plano — have 3 Stars (Nystrom, Robidas and Eakin).

What They’re Saying: “Let me just start off by saying I was really hyped up about trying this place once in Dallas for all the wrong reasons. I have my ratchet moments of listening to 2-Chainz and I just wanted to walk in there and order my food and say “I got Benihana Issues”, then eat. Sadly, this is what drew me to this place of course my Dallas friend was disgusted by this thought so I refrained from saying it out loud. Despite my wrong attentions this is a great hibachi spot!” – Shercole K. of New Orelans, LA.

Benihana of Denver

Benihana of Denver


Number of Benihanae: One in Denver, one in Broomfield

Average Yelp! Score: The Denver location got the normal three stars. Just two stars for the suburb. 2.5 stars.

What They’re Saying: “After reading their bad reviews I don’t know why I thought that my experience would be any different.  My review would not be a zero, it would be less than zero, they should be ashamed of themselves.  We made reservations and still waited 35 minutes for the hostess to come over to us and explain that they were in a “bit of a pickle for reservations” and would not be able to seat us.  Unbelievable!  We were warned by the bad reviews on Yelp and I had printed a copy and asked the hostess to read it as we walked out.” – The impressively prepared and incredibly passive-aggressive MK P. of Vail, CO.

Benihana of Maple Grove, MN

Benihana of Maple Grove, MN

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Number of Benihanae: One branded as being “Minneapolis” (it’s actually in Golden Valley), one in Maple Grove.

Average Yelp! Score: A 3.25 average with a 3-star rating for “Minneapolis” and 3.5 for Maple Grove.

What They’re Saying: “From our Caucasion server to our Hispanic Tapanyaki chef to our Middle Eastern busboy, our celebration of my awesome nephews 26th birthday was outstanding! And for a Monday night, this joint was hopping!  About 10 of us were seated (upon arrival of all guests…a rule I totally respect) and instantly greeted and offered beverages. I hadn’t been to a Benny’s since my LA days when my Japanese  American boyfriends parents would take us to the one in Beverly Hills. This experience easily trumped my visits there. We devoured our Las Vegas roll, Crunch roll, the brothy onion soup and the crisp, cold salad with the ginger dressing that I could easily enjoy swigging from a large plastic tumbler it is that good. The Tapanyaki experience did not disappoint as well. Carlos, our chef, was adorable, engaging and master of his tools. Well, you know what I mean…even allowing us to toss shrimp into his chef hat! The protein and fried rice were prepared perfectly. They even allow you to share an entree. My sis and I each had leftovers even!” – The enthusiastic Thomas S. of Minneapolis.


Number of Benihanae: Zero Benihanae. How is Nashville even a city?

Average Yelp! Score: Zero, because people in Nashville can’t count or enjoy a Benihana entree because they are shameful rubes who wouldn’t even know what to do if given a Hibache Chateaubriand. They’d probably yell at it because it didn’t speak English. What a disgraceful town.

What They’re Saying: Nothing. Because they live in a rathole town that doesn’t merit a Benihana. Why does their opinion even matter?

St . Louis

Number of Benihanae: Zero. Like SportsYapper user pk would lie to you.

Average Yelp! Score: Zero. And not just because there are no Benihanae. Just the whole town. A big fat zero. Not even pk’s hickey arena is worth rating.

What They’re Saying: “”Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?”


Number of Benihanae: None. Not even a Benihaneh. I’ll show myself out.

Average Yelp! Score: Zero, just like the temperature outside on Canadian July 4th, which is celebrated on July 1. Sure, a delicious Spicy Tofu Steak could warm you up. But you don’t deserve it. Your town might as well just slide into the lake.

What They’re Saying: “I wish Winnipeg was ‘Beni-peg’.”