2011-01-12 / Restaurant of the Week



You won’t find it in Cincinnati or Houston, Los Angeles or even Disney World. The Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen is purely a New York tradition, founded 64 years ago by Ben Parker and still going strong, thanks to Jay Parker, who carries on his father’s traditions.

Only the finest cuts of hand-cured corned beef, pastrami, brisket, turkey and roast beef are offered here, prepared with traditional recipes from centuries ago. That’s what makes this deli famous. Whether you eat in the clean, comfortable dining room, or place an order for delivery, or cater an event for hundreds, Original Ben’s Kosher will satisfy your “yen” for the best in fresh meats, salads and “appetizing”.

We started with “Jewish penicillin”, or matzoh ball soup and kreplach soup, both of which were transformative and delicious, neither salty nor greasy. The matzo balls are lighter than airy and the kreplach are tender dumplings filled with seasoned meat. I could wax poetic about the pastrami, corned beef and brisket that are virtually free of visible fat and melt in your mouth. Piled ridiculously high atop rye bread or sliced to take home, you owe it to yourself to enjoy a meal with friends and family. Tender sliced tongue and oven roasted turkey are sliced up and piled onto combo sandwiches that require two strong hands and a hearty appetite. There are even sandwiches named for celebrities and local politicians who keep Ben’s on their list of regular stops. My Jewish dining companion recalled her grandmother’s recipe for chopped chicken liver and declared that Ben’s Best was “The best I ever had.” I have to agree. Parker described his family’s recipe for this wonderful spread, but I’ll never tell! Just taste it for yourself and see what all the hoopla is about.

Chase it all down with a bottle of cream soda or celery soda for the ultimate deli experience.

Original Ben’s Best offers complete sit-down dinners as well. In fact, an Early bird Dinner, served from 3-6pm, costs only $16.95 and includes soup, entrée and side dish. Choose among corned beef or pastrami, homemade stuffed cabbage, chicken fricassee, braised brisket of beef that melts in your mouth and other tempting entrees. Pick a side dish like traditional kasha varnishkes, made with bow tie pasta and barley, or noodle pudding, potato pancake and string beans. One of my favorite, comforting meals is chicken pot pie, the perfect winter meal, replete with chunks of tender chicken, peas, carrots and a creamy sauce, topped with a delicate pastry crust. Old World chicken in a pot is a soulwarming meal full of chicken, noodles, matzoh balls and kreplach, a kind of dumpling ($18.25). Boiled beef flanken in a pot is another classic dish, and one of Parker’s favorites. I love the stuffed cabbage, rolled and stuffed with rice and beef in a tangy sauce. Also exceptional is the Hungarian goulash, with tender chunks of beef, peas, carrots and delicate gravy served on a bed of noodles ($16.95). Meat loaf, London broil with mushrooms and rib-eye steaks are all tender and served with hand cut french fries. There’s even a kid’s menu with Ben’s famous hot dogs and hamburgers that the kids love.

Save room for their homemade apple strudel, ruggelach, noodle pudding or 7- layer cake for dessert. Visit Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen anytime for lunch, dinner or snack. They’re open from 9 a.m. till 9:45 p.m. They specialize in expert catering for affairs of any size. Fax in your lunch orders in the morning for afternoon delivery, and place your Super Bowl order now and leave the catering to the experts. Original Ben’s Best is found on many Top Ten and “Best of the Best” lists. Jay Parker is

a true “mensch”; a very congenial, community-minded person, whose wall of fame features photos of politicians, celebrities and local dignitaries. He’s always there to lend a hand, an ear, or a sandwich, as the situation may require.

Run, don’t walk, or just take the R train to 63rd Drive/Rego Park and treat yourself to the Best Kosher Deli in NYC.

The Original Ben’s Best

96-40 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, NY
(718) 897-1700  1-800-BENSBEST

fax: (718) 997-6503  www.bensbest.com

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