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Feb 24, 2007 06:25 AM

KNish Nosh - A Travesty

Knish Nosh - A Travesty

My wife and I, hungry for massive Jewish-deli sandwiches and having eyed Knish Nosh many times from the outside since having moved to Forest Hills, decided to try it recently. We felt very safe that we'd get excellent food there, having seen the brand in local supermarkets many times.

The place certainly was busy, most customers seeming to be there for the knishes - we managed to order a brisket sandwich and a corned beef sandwich ($10 each and described on the menu as "overstuffed") though the service wasn't so hot.

Disappointment #1 came when we learned they were almost out of Rye bread, so one of us would have to have our sandwich on an Italian-style hero roll. That was weird, but I soldiered on and chose to have my hot brisket on that, leaving the Rye for my wife's hot corned beef.

The fellow making the sandwiches took forever, puttering about and finally asked me about what we wanted on the sandwiches. He offered lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles. We were kind of surprised by this and didn't know quite how to respond - those toppings didn't seem appropriate on what we'd ordered, where we'd ordered them. We declined lettuce, tomato and onions an asked for the pickles on the side.

After an extremely long time of dickering about, during which we shared a kasha knish with mustard (good, but nothing to rave about), he finally served our sandwiches. This was a significant length of time waiting - we were hungry and annoyed by the same a paper plate with our sandwiches were served on paper plates, with another paper plate of, yes - sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onions and shockingly enough - SLICED pickles. All cut razor-thin on the meat slicer. No big, crunchy Kosher pickles here, no - he'd sliced them. Super-strange.

Then we observed our sandwiches. Overstuffed, they were not - far, far from it. The lukewarm meat on the bread (Italian hero roll for me, remember, and Rye for her) was almost an afterthought. Incredibly disappointing and not worth a fraction of the $10 price tag.

My wife, fed up by this point, took the sandwiches up to a silver-haired gent we presumed to be the owner - he took them back to the visibly annoyed sandwich maker and told him it wasn't enough meat, to add that amount again.

Another ten or fifteen minutes passed while we watched the fellow, whose only speeds seemed to be slow and slower, open up the sandwiches and laboriously put on more brisket and corned beef. They'd already been cut, you see, and when we were (finally!) re-served, they were atrocious, sloppy messes of room-temperature meat on over-handled bread and absolutely disappointing to behold.

My wife had been ready to walk out a good long time before, but I had been trying to get us to soldier through and make the best of it, but even I had had enough when I realized that the Italian hero roll had ended up to be the one with corned beef and the brisket was on the Rye. I'd had enough.

I demanded, and got, our money back from the sandwich maker, though he exhibited tremendous irritation just this side of anger.

We left, tremendously disappointed and disgusted. You have been warned.

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  1. Next time go to Ben's in Rego--just a few blocks down, near 63rd Drive..

    1. Thanks, Judy! I sure will and if I had known that a Ben's was so near, I would never have tried an unknown.

      1. Credit to you, Goldfish, but be cautious what you order in Ben's . my son and I went to the Greenvale location for lunch. One $8.50 special stated 2 knockwurst and baked beans which is what I ordered. The resulting disappointment was that it was less than one knockwurst cut up and grilled .After your experience and persistence, I am sorry that I didn't send it back so I grudgingly ate my meal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: budcar

          I think Judy was referring to Ben's Best, not Ben's the L.I. chain.

          1. re: CornflakeGirl

            Yes, I was...this is not part of the chain of Ben's...this is Ben's Best which is no relation to the chain--I think it came before the chain, Ben Parker's son Jay now runs it.

        2. Since Knish Nosh's expansion, something has happened and none to the good. I went in there a week or so ago with my brother who lives in Wyoming so that he could schlep back to Cheyenne a dozen assorted knishes (right, Cheyenne has no knish shops readily available ;) ).

          The new, expanded area was dark, some lights were on with missing bulbs and others were not on at all. No professional menus above the counter and the employees did not readily come to the front when we entered. Nothing behind the dark, dirty deli case seemed appealing at all. What a shame! My brother and I just shrugged, went to the old "knish section" adjacent and ordered the knishes, which, I am happy to report tasted pretty good -- just like the old days, albeit much more expensive. Oh, and don't read the NYC board of Health report on the place, although unfortunately, too many food establishments in Forest Hills get similar, dismal results.

          1. Knish Nosh is easy if you know how to focus and keep it simple.

            Get the "Special" - one knish (rec. potato, kasha, cabbage only), one knish-dog (a fantastic kosher wiener inside a knish wrapper) and soda (Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray).

            One word of advice: If you have a choice and you see lots of knishes stacked up in back of the counter, order straight off-the-rack...they won't be sitting in that front-end incubator for days, although I've gladly sacrificed heat for supreme freshness. Second piece of advice: save room for dessert next door at Andre's Hungarian Strudel shop (prune danish!).