2017-01-04 / Restaurant of the Week

THE ORIGINAL BEN’S BEST

Original Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen, Restaurant and Caterers has been in the Deli business for 72 years, located on Queens Blvd. in Rego Park. It’s simply the place to go for the best in traditional Kosher deli food and expert catering. Original Ben’s is one of 15 remaining delis of its kind today, down from 1,500 back in 1938. Thank goodness Original Ben’s Best is still around, run with heart and soul by Jay Parker. It’s so iconic, it was chosen to be featured in the new movie “The Comedian,” starring Robert DeNiro and Danny DeVito. The movie, which got rave reviews, was directed by Sean Penn and features an all-star cast, including Edie Falco, Leslie Mann, Harvey Keitel, and Patti Lupone, to name a few. It opens on January 17th and features a scene in which Parker himself is seen turning hot dogs on the grill. We started with cups of their homemade soups; classic mushroom barley and lentil, which was the soup of the day and full of fresh vegetables and hearty flavor. Of course, the matzoh ball soup is legendary, perfectly balanced with a light, airy matzoh balls and lots of tender chicken and noodles. The chopped liver is like “buddah,” spread on bread or incorporated into sandwiches, it’s so good you’ll want to take some home, and you can, as everything here is available for takeout and catering. Enjoy it along with a plate of assorted pickles and their famous homemade cole slaw, which is crunchy and light.

No one does meat like Original Ben’s. The pastrami is very lean and hand-cured on the premises so that it melts in your mouth. We devoured the brisket of beef, which is slow-cooked until the meat is tender. Have it on a sandwich or a platter, and don’t forget the hot gravy. For the rarest, juiciest roast beef, come to Original Ben’s and pile it onto soft rye bread with lots of grainy mustard. Enjoy it cold or hot as an an open-faced sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes. The sandwiches are so popular, a local resident brought his whole family and some friends here for lunch, and they enjoyed tasting each other’s selections. They roast whole turkeys each day so you don’t have to. 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 5th, get your order in for a giant hero, individual sandwiches, or platters with all the fixings. Parker can even FedEx his famous food to many locations for ex-pat New Yorkers with a craving. Ben’s famous combination sandwiches combine corned beef, turkey, sweet pepper and cole slaw, or turkey, tongue, cole slaw and homemade Russian dressing. There’s even a Ben’s Challenge with the winners’ photos on the Wall of Fame. See their website and social media for details.

The hot entrées at Original Ben’s offer the flavors of another century, made with old world, Parker Family recipes. 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, an Eastern European dumpling. Ben’s famous corned beef and cabbage, London Broil with mushroom sauce, or roasted chicken are just some of the hot entrées, and you must get an order of potato pancakes with apple sauce as a side dish. Try the pearl barley and mushrooms, kasha varnishkes, or noodle kugel on the side too.

The front counter is always busy, serving up juicy Kosher hot dogs, square knishes, handmade potato, spinach, and kasha knishes. Orders to go fly out the door and orders for catering are cheerfully arranged by phone or through their website. Visit their website to see a trailer for “The Comedian,” or to view the menu and place an order for fast delivery. Read about the History of Original Ben’s Best for a sense of old New York immigrant stories.

In a city where the flavor of the month changes every week, Original Ben’s Best is a timeless tradition that deserves the respect and admiration it receives. Come soon, and come hungry because you can’t find food like this anywhere else. Congratulations on being Original Ben’s Best for 72 years and counting!

96-40 Queens Boulevard, Rego Park
718.897.1700  800.BENSBEST

www.BENSBEST.com Visit them on FaceBook and Instagram

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