On my trip to visit my hometown NYC, I was lucky enough to not only see my parents, but check out some great sights (like the new Oculus mall in lower Manhattan) and indulge in epic New York City bites. I was born and raised in Queens, so when I got invited to a tasting at Ben’s Best Delicatessen in Rego Park Queens, I totally knew of their awesome kosher food. But since I’ve been living in Los Angeles for almost 7 years now, I hadn’t been back to Ben’s in a long time – until now.
I ventured with my dad, a lifelong New Yorker and foodie, to Ben’s and I let him order the classics that are quintessential to the NYC appetite. And naturally, Ben’s will do it the best – the kosher deli has been around since 1945. Dad and I got the pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, packed with so much meat and flavor, you don’t need anything else on it or for it. But we kept going with some delicious stuffed cabbage, yummy hand cut French fries, and the classic New York knish – a kosher staple I grew up eating all the time. We ordered the spinach knish and it was divine.
Ben’s Best was a favorite stop for Jerry Lewis, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Senator Jacob Javits, Governor George Pataki, and Mayor Ed Koch. The NYC mainstay was also featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the documentary Deli Man by Erik Greenberg Anjou about deli owners across the country.
Many thanks to Zachary and Chef Jay Parker for a great meal and for telling us all about Ben’s! Check out the videos and food porn below. Dad proved to be a really good food photographer as well and some of the below photos were taken by him! He also cut the knish and stuffed cabbage like a pro in the video above.