Monday, March 7, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Map of Chick and Benny's
1659 Warm Springs Road, Suite 100, Henderson
Henderson resident Susan Bobiner developed a craving for beignets after a trip to New Orleans several years ago.
Bobiner was so hooked on the French puff pastry – fried dough covered in white powdered sugar – that every year since her trip, she and her husband, Robert, have ordered $120 worth of ingredients from the Big Easy’s famous Café Du Monde to make the dessert themselves.
But with the opening of Chick and Benny’s in Henderson a couple weeks ago, the Bobiners are looking forward to enjoying their favorite pastry just a short walk from their house.
“When the powdered sugar gets on you, that’s when you know you’ve had a good beignet,” said Susan, 51. “There’s nothing like Café Du Monde, but you have to give this place a try. It’s great.”
The idea for Chick and Benny’s, 1659 Warm Springs Road, was hatched by twin brothers: St. Louis natives Mark Goldenberg, who lives in Henderson, and his brother, Mike, who is moving from Texas in the coming weeks to work at the eatery.
After Mark sold his previous business, a frozen dessert shop, last year, Mike proposed a wacky business idea: Opening a “Parisian-Texan eatery” specializing in two dishes, chicken tenders and beignets.
“It’s the intrigue that brings people in,” said Mark Goldenberg, 54. “If you have great food, people will love you and come back.”
Nestled in a strip mall across from Green Valley High School, Chick and Benny’s offers a “simple” menu, including “Chirp” chicken sandwiches, a “Nest” of chicken and fries with homemade jalapeno ranch sauce, and the “Parisian Dog,” a hot dog wrapped in a baguette.
“Fries and chicken, it appeals to everyone,” Goldenberg said. “Our portions are big, and our quality is excellent … That’s what people want -- they want to get their money’s worth.”
But in a crowded fried chicken restaurant market, Chick and Benny’s is hoping to become famous for its unique offering of beignets.
“People are looking for a lighter alternative,” he said. “Beignets are less greasy and lighter than donuts.”
Although a little nervous about opening a new business in the down economy, so far, the restaurant concept is working, he said. Students from nearby schools have brought their parents in to taste Goldenberg’s “Golden” chicken. Word has gotten around to local firehouses, where the eatery's takeout has become popular, he added.
“If you’ve got a product that everyone likes, word will spread,” he said. “We want to be quaint, small, unique … neighborhood-ish. People like feeling at home.”