2015-01-07 / Restaurant of the Week

The Original Ben’s Best

With 71 years under its belt, Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen, Restaurant and Caterers continues its time honored tradition of offering Old World ‘comfort food’ that is as relevant today as it was when Ben Parker opened up his restaurant on Queens Blvd. in Rego Park in 1945. Today, Ben’s son and owner Jay Parker says, “When you want stability in an unstable world, we’re the place to go. We haven’t changed in 71 years.” In fact, Original Ben’s Best is one of only 16 remaining, traditional Kosher deli’s where there were once 2,000 around the city. It’s no wonder this culinary wonderland was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” on the Food Network,.The family recipe for the stuffed cabbage was featured on the show and the time-consuming recipe is made today exactly as it was back then. Parker still buys and cures his own meats for the famous sandwiches served here. A trip down memory lane and gustatory lane at Original Ben’s Kosher is a must for all New Yorkers and those who wish they were!

On a recent visit, I invited a friend along whose Jewish mother and grandmother made and served dishes such as those served here. She marveled at the authenticity and flavor of the chopped liver, kreplach soup, matzoh balls, potato latkes, brisket, and stuffed cabbage, my favorite. Everyone starts with a plate of assorted pickles and their famous homemade cole slaw which is crunchy and not swimming in mayo. Original Ben’s pastrami is impossibly lean and seasoned to perfection so that it melts in your mouth. Brisket of beef is slowcooked until the meat is so tender, and the beef tongue on rye with mustard doesn’t get better than this. For the rarest, juiciest roast beef, come to Original Ben’s and pile it onto soft rye bread with lots of grainy mustard. I had my roast beef on an open-faced sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes and it really hit the spot. The sandwiches are so popular, some unique combinations are named after Nita Lowey and Gary Ackerman (corned beef, turkey breast, Bermuda onion and Russian dressing on rye). They roast whole turkeys each day, so it’s fresh and homemade. These succulent cuts of meat can be made into hefty sandwiches, served on platters, or sliced by the pound to take home. Heros by the foot can be made and delivered for your next party too. With Superbowl Sunday just around the corner on February 1st get your order in for a big hero, individual sandwiches, or platters with all the fixings. Don’t forget the cream soda! The hot entrées at Original Ben’s transport the flavors of another century and winter is the best time to dig in to the Hungarian goulash made with tender beef, carrots and seasonings in a hearty sauce. Chicken in a pot will cure whatever ails you with vegetables, noodles and kreplach, a Yiddish word meaning a dumpling filled with meat or mashed potatoes. If you prefer a more “gentile” menu,, there are nightly dinner specials including Monday’s spring roasted chicken with stuffing, Tuesday’s chili, Wednesday’s meatloaf, and Thursday’s grilled chicken on a bun. Friday night remains sacred with baked brisket of beef served with potatoes and carrots.

Stop in anytime at the front counter for a juicy Kosher hot dog, made with the finest ingredients, or handmade potato knishes, both square and round, some made with spinach or kasha. Side dishes such as the pearl barley and mushrooms, kasha varnishkes with bow tie pasta and noodle kugel bring back memories of my youth in Brooklyn. Take home a whole roasted chicken with side dishes for your next family meal.

Save room for dessert because they have the best apple strudel in town, served warm, rugelach, and seven layer cake. Let the experts at Original Ben’s cater your Superbowl party, office luncheons, temple events, Shabbat dinner, or any family occasion. Original Ben’s Best is open 7 days a week and easily reached with the R or M train to 63rd Drive and you’ll see Original Ben’s right there. Get all the history and a video on their website. Life is tough bubby…come get a nice Kosher meal and you’ll feel better. L’chaim!

96-40 Queens Blvd., Rego Park
718-897-1700  1-800-BENSBEST

www.BENSBEST.com  Visit them on FaceBook

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