Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen
211-37 26th Ave., Bayside
Cuisine: Deli, Kosher
Credit Cards: Yes, All Major
Located in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Ben’s Deli has been a staple of the Bayside community for more than 20 years, serving the finest in kosher cuisine. Who doesn’t like overstuffed cold-cut sandwiches served with some matzo ball soup coleslaw and pickles? Though upon entering their establishment and meeting the people who make their restaurant so successful, I decided maybe it was time to try something different.
Hal, the restaurant manager, pointed out the restaurant’s specials of the day, displayed in the front of the dining room for your viewing pleasure. Soon after a conversation with their head chef, Alex, I decided to change up my order and try their steak sandwich special. Ben’s Deli tries to cater to everyone they can while sill providing top notch kosher delights, which can satisfy any persons hunger. The sandwich I tried consisted of sliced rib-eye served with roasted garlic over toasted garlic bread which was so simple yet incredibly flavorful.
Since I strayed from my usual overstuffed sandwich, Hal decided to bring out a small sample of their house cured meats, accompanied by corned beef, brisket, pastrami, and tongue. Now I have never eaten tongue, so it was a perfect time to try something new (as this was one of Hal’s favorites). With a texture almost similar to bologna, the tongue was saltier and gamier yet surprisingly delicious. The pastrami was my favorite, so delicate and tender; it melted in my mouth leaving me salivating for more.
Of course, one can’t leave this establishment without having a knish. While Ben’s is known for their homemade baked round knishes, I am a square knish connoisseur. Though without knowing it, Hal informed me that their square knishes are the only thing they don’t make in house. They use the famous Coney Island creation bought right from Brooklyn because there is nothing better than the original, and they’re not afraid to pay homage to the creator of the knish.
Hal also insisted on having my guest and I try their homemade potato pancakes. Served with apple sauce like any potato pancake should, Ben’s Deli created a giant three-quarter-inch thick pancake, cooked to perfection. On the outside was this golden delicious crunch stuffed with a warm soft potato center, completely different from the knish.
For dessert, our table was presented with their home-baked apple strudel as well as their chocolate rugelach, which had to be some of the best I’ve ever had. Hal did inform me of his little secret as to how and why his rugelach was so good, but I don’t want to reveal any of their trade secrets.
So what are you waiting for? I know your tummy’s already growling for some of their tasty kosher treats, go in, get your food on, and don’t forget to say hi to Hal and the rest of his staff who do a great job perfecting these old world classics.