2000-06-21 / Restaurant of the Week

The Original (And Still The) Ben’s Best Kosher Deli

The Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen is proud to announce that it was recently voted "Best of the Best" by Fox 5 television. The five boroughs were scoured top to bottom to find the best New York cuisine as voted by the people, or in this case, by our esteemed governor himself. That’s right. At a special meeting held at the governor’s Manhattan office, George Pataki gave his vote as "Best of the Best" to the Original Ben’s Kosher Deli in between bites of stuffed cabbage, corned beef and pastrami. Another personal favorite of the governor is the special cabbage soup, served only on Friday nights, but well worth the trip for the old world flavor it evokes.

No one does "real" kosher deli like Original Ben’s. I’m talking pastrami and corned beef cured with secret recipes that came to this country at the turn of the century with the immigrants who brought it here. The Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen and Restaurant on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park has kept the art of deli alive and consistently delicious for 54 years. Not affiliated with other delis who use the same name, this is the real McCoy. Since it was opened in 1947 by Ben Parker, very little has changed to this day, which is precisely the secret to Ben’s success, according to son Jay Parker who has taken over the family business. And believe me, you wouldn’t want anything to change.

Behind the counter deli men who possess the skill of surgeons carve the biggest, tastiest corned beef and pastrami sandwiches you’ll ever sink your teeth into. The Original Ben’s has been curing its own corned beef and pastrami for years, using the best cuts of meat and a secret combination of spices to render the absolute leanest, most tender meat that melts in your mouth. It’s so good that I actually forgot to put mustard on it, and it’s easy to see why people come from miles around for a taste of Original Ben’s Best. Parker is proud to announce a new product introduction:kosher bison corned beef and pastrami. This farmed bison meat has 70 percent less fat than regular beef and is substantially higher in protein. So forget the guilt and enjoy a healthy sandwich. They still cure it the same way so it has all the flavor with 70 percent less fat. This is a meal even a cardiologist would approve of.

Don’t forget the brisket, piled high upon fresh baked rye bread with gobs of grainy mustard with cole slaw and kosher dill pickles on the side. Dr. Brown’s cream soda is the perfect beverage for this meal. According to the congenial Parker, it’s all about freshness and consistency. Starting in the early morning, the cooks begin the process of preparing soups, sauces and meats from scratch. One taste of the matzoh ball soup will cure whatever ails you and it is never greasy or salty. The mushroom barley soup is creamy and satisfying as well.

Besides the fabulous overstuffed sandwiches, Original Ben’s Best makes traditional entrees such as boiled chicken in a pot, chock full of chicken, noodles, matzoh balls and kreplach, a kind of dumpling. My personal favorite is their stuffed cabbage, loaded with rice and beef and smothered in a tangy sauce. Also exceptional is the Hungarian goulash, served on a bed of noodles with carrots and peas.

Be sure and order some side dishes to nosh on with your dinner. Kasha varnishkes, egg bow noodles tossed with kasha, are delicious. So is the mushroom and egg barley. Their potato pancakes (latkes) and apple sauce could make an entire meal, and the thick cut french fries are just wonderful. Save room for their homemade apple strudel and noodle pudding for dessert.

Original Ben’s Best is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with free delivery available on take out orders. Don’t cook in the heat. Call or fax an order in to Ben’s. As one could imagine, the Original Ben’s Best does a brisk catering business, whether it’s a sandwich platter for a business luncheon or dinner for 30 on Thanksgiving. Menus are customized to individual needs and everything is prepared fresh that day. Stop in or call for the special catering menu that includes roast turkey or cold cut platters, smoked fish platters, hot entrees or hero sandwiches by the foot filled with your favorite meats.

Visit Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen and Restaurant any day, for lunch, dinner or to snack on a knish or hot dog. They’re open from 9 a.m. till 9:45 p.m. Fax in lunch orders in the morning for afternoon delivery. Celebrate Original Ben’s Best’s 54th anniversary as a New York tradition and see why it is truly "The best of the best."

The Original Ben’s Best

96-40 Queens Blvd.

Rego Park

1-800 BEN’S BEST

Fax (718) 997-6503


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