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Sep 18, 2006 01:15 AM

Ben's Best

Had high hopes for Ben's Best. Hadn't been there for years. I am a Queens boy born and bred-still mourning Pastrami King which was walking distance from where I grew up. Pastrami sandwich was good but a little too lean and a little too light on the meat.

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  1. any deli that serves sally sherman potato salad does not make the grade with me.

    1. Ben's Best is, as you say, okay, but my vote for the best pastrami on rye in Queens, one of the best in the city, and, hands down - at just over 7 bucks - the best deal in the city, goes to the lean, mean old boy they serve up at Deli Masters (on Horace Harding in Fresh Meadows).

      It is high time that this great old place, caught in another era, got its' due.

      1. My BF is from that neighboorhood- he loves it,the sandwhiches are HUGE and the knishes etc are good too...we always stop there when we're in the 'hood.

        1. Sad news- Ben's Best was Ben's WORST!!!! I should have known I was in trouble when I was served limp pickles and coles slaw that had way too much vinegar. The soup tasted like water and the kreplachs and matzo balls were also very bland. The potato pancake was hard and dried out. The Kasha knish was also lacking in flavor. The corn beef and pastrami was good but the platter we ordered wasn't even enough to make two sandwiches.

          2 Replies
            1. re: albee

              Ben's Best is a single location on Queens Boulevard. Ben's (without the "best") is a mini-chain.

          1. I'm in agreement with everyone here about Ben's Best, and that's just too bad since I live in Queens. It really is tough to find good food in Queens, particularly in the Rego Park/Forest Hills area. The pastrami was definitely leaner than other places I've tried, but my beef with it was that it didn't arrive hot or even warm. Also, they do go lighter on the meat here than other places, and the rye really didn't have any flavor. I've had the pastrami (to-go) at Deli Masters, which is fattier and sliced thinner (strange), but I did like it. While Carnegie Deli is expensive, I do like the mile-high pastrami portions and the rye. After eating a sandwich there, I realized how important good rye is in this deceptively simple meal. I used to go to Katz's, but it is just too out of the way and manic for any of my visiting friends or family to find worthwhile. Unless you live in New York and can appreciate a just-carved pastrami, you can't justifiy spending more than $10 on a sandwich.

            3 Replies
            1. re: grubcrawl

              Used to live near Ben's for many years...the matzoh ball soup went downhill many years ago :)....and other than grabbing a hot dog--the place was pretty grungy looking and other stuff was so so at best....for takout jewish style kugels, etc...much better food at Tov down on 63rd road--excellent chopped liver there...but, Ben's was pretty lousy for a long time,,however....their catering stuff seems to be handled with more care, and the quality was much much better the few times over the past several years that we had this....too bad the restaurant and takeout have suffered....

              Wasn't impressed with Deli Masters but it's been a long time since we've been there.

              Perhaps, try deli king in new hyde park and see if you like it... cole slaw excellent, good pickles, great waffle fries, good stuffed cabbage, good matzo ball soup, and excellent pastrami and corned beef sandwiches--generous portion--and they will bring you extra bread if you're sharing the sandwich. --casual comfortable atmosphere, intense old school waitresses that slam your food down with authority---we've eaten there for years. It's kosher, and they also have dinner specials that are very popular.


              oh, also, don't order the pastrami or corned beef lean, unless you are trying to avoid every ounce of fat, because the lean sandwiches are just much drier and not as tasty.

                1. re: bruceb04

                  that's a shame--maybe there needs to be a jewish deli 5 guys approach, or something--but, I can even see how New Hyde Park Deli King has raised their prices to combat less business--once the older generation dies out that goes there a lot, not so sure if there will be another generation to take its place...don't understand it really...saw a really good deli in Miami also go under and it was in the middle of densely populated jewish neighborhood, but the places that seems to thrive are serving healthier stuff...