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Aug 21, 2007 07:11 AM

Buddy's Kosher Deli (73rd Ave, Bayside/Flushing/Oakland Gardens)?

(Sorry for the confusion about the neighborhood in the title of this post). Does anyone recommend Buddy's, and does anybody know its kashrut status?
Thank you.

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  1. Oakland Gardens. I work nearby, we rent out our space from a synagogue. On special occasions, our landlords only allow us to cater from Buddy's, due to their being kosher. Buddy's is okay at best in my opinion, nothing special. If you're in the area, I would give a much higher recommendation for Deli Masters, just about a mile away, on Horace Harding. Don't know if they're kosher, but their pastrami on rye (thin sliced) is my favorite in Queens, and I love their old school charm and atmosphere.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Polecat

      Deli Masters is kosher. Used to stop there all the time on my way out to Nassau when I was working on LI (it fronts on the LIE just past Utopia Pkwy.), and they're closed from late Friday afternoon through Saturday. Have no idea about kashrut status though. You should probably try the kosher board for that question.

      1. re: Polecat

        I have never eaten in Buddy's, but members of my family live near there and have eaten there many times over the years and think it's not good at all anymore. I have, however, eaten at Deli Masters and thought it was not good. Though not in that neighborhood, Ben's Best (Queens Boulevard, Rego Park) and Ben's (Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Bayside, as well as other locations) are much better, in my opinion. May not have the old school charm and atmosphere at either, but the food is better.

        1. re: Shayna Madel

          What, specifically, was "not good" about Deli Masters? Also, should I assume that Ben's Best and Ben's are related?

          1. re: bennyt

            Sorry I can't be more specific, but in all honesty, I do not recall exactly, as it was a number of years ago that I went. It's not far from a movie theater I went to with friends and we decided to stop there for a bite. At this point, I just recall not liking it and figuring that if I am paying for Kosher deli and there are better ones around, I don't feel the need to go to one I don't like. Ben's and Ben's Best are not related and as far as I know, have no connection, never have. As I am not Kosher, kashruth is not critical to me, so I have the leisure of being able/willing to travel for Kosher deli I like better and I do not have an issue with a deli open on the sabbath.

            1. re: Shayna Madel

              It is somewhere between pointless and irresponsible to make a dismissive, negative post about a restaurant that you visited one time, "a number of years ago," and have a vague recollection of.

              Like mosts restaurants that have broad menus (e.g., many Chinese restaurants), Deli Masters is better at some things than others. I would not recommend that someone travel from Staten Island just to try their "egg barley."

              However, in the realm of jewish-style deli meats, Deli Masters is aptly named. I would go so far to say that it has the best pastrami in Queens and perhaps in all of NYC. I've tried all the delis mentioned in this post, as well as the Manhattan standouts and always come back to Deli Masters. [Note: Katz's (on a good day) and 2nd Avenue Deli were certainly contenders as well.]

              1. re: Chow King

                I beg to differ with your comment and your opinion. I do not make a habit of repeatedly visiting restaurants that I do not enjoy, or more to the point, actively dislike. And frankly, I don't keep notes on a deli I visited years ago. It's simply not that important. I have read many opinions on this site that I don't agree with or think the exact opposite about, but I don't and I think most people don't personally attack other people's opinions. That is all they are, opinions. And mine is that Deli Masters was not worth returning to given the other alternatives out there. Perhaps Deli Masters has improved.

            2. re: bennyt

              bens and bens best are NOT related.

          2. re: Polecat

            Well. I went to Deli Masters for the first time to try the pastrami sandwich. It was AWFUL. Not only is it far worse than Buddy's (Buddy's is good IMO) but it was probably the worst pastrami sandwich I have had.. Not even close to Katz. 2nd Ave. deli or Buddy's.

            The pastrami was dry, insipid and a weird pinkish color that I really haven't seen before.

            Deli Masters Beef Brisket on the other hand was superb.. Moist, juicy, and tasty.

            I would definatley go back for the brisket, but the pastrami sucked.

            1. re: frankie5angels

              Frankie, I'm glad that you enjoyed the brisket, but your pastrami experience is atypical. I've had Deli Masters' pastrami literally dozens of times and never found it "dry, insipid" or in any way "weird." It is the real deal and worth another try.

              I've also had Buddy's pastrami many times and never found it better than average. The best bet at Buddy's seems to be a frankfurter.

              BTW, I hope that you didn't make the mistake of ordering your pastrami "extra lean." It wouldn't be a true pastrami experience, regardless of where you ate it.

              1. re: Chow King

                I didn't order it extra lean, but I didn't say fatty either.. ;)

                Regardless, it was pretty bad.. I know Buddy's doesn't compare to some of Manhattans Kosher deli's but it was FAR better than Deli Masters..

                I should also note that I'm not an afficianado of Kosher foods.. All I ever really get is pastrami or brisket.. But I've had enough pastrami to know if it's good or not.. And this wasn't.

                Half of it is still in my fridge.. It's a rarity that I don't finish something.

          3. I concur about buddy’s. despite many old timers swearing by it, I think it’s awful. Maybe it’s true that in recent years it has gone way down hill. I live a few blocks away and love kosher deli- but refuse to go back.

            Both their matzah ball soup and knishes are mediocre at best. brisket is dry and fatty. Noodle pudding- horrible. I tried the turkey meatloaf and threw it away after one bite. Not to mention the fact that the 4 or 5 times I’ve been there (either take out or delivery) they have managed to screw up my order every single time.

            I lived in forest hills for years and ate ben’s best regularly and never had an issue. Now that I live in fresh meadows I still drive back to rego park when I get a craving.

            As far as I know the original bens best in rego park and the bens chain (like in bay terrace) are not related- and IMO don’t even remotely compare.

            I have not tried deli masters- but I think I just might!

            1 Reply
            1. re: anicon

              honestly, are you joking? buddys is by far my favorite deli. their matzo ball is delicious and their knishes are amazing. they've never screwed up my order, ever.

              i've never heard until deli masters until today..maybe i'll see where it is

            2. Buddy's is just plain bad food. Sorry but nothing will ever beat the pastrami at the old Surrey Deli on Union Tpke. Place wasn't pretty but damn, good pastrami.

              1. All this talk abut good or bad pastrami without the mention of the Pastrami King near the court house on Queens Boulevard. Theirs was truly the best. Hand cut, not machine sliced. What could be better. They've been gone for some time now.

                1 Reply
                1. re: E.Kantro

                  Greetings from the O.P. We actually made it to Buddy's the other night (a good friend lives in Bayside, and swears by it). I had a corned beef, pastrami, and chopped liver sandwich. The server was actually surprised that I would want such a thing, and gently made fun of me for ordering it- I found that sort of bizarre, since where I come from, that sort of thing is pretty standard. The people I was with both ordered lean corned beef, and I think that got cross-applied to my order as well- it was still good, but my mouth is watering thinking about the fatty corned beef- you want the grease to start permeating the rye bread. Actually, the best thing about the sandwich was the chopped liver- a very creamy consistency, and lopped on top of the meat in generous portions. I was a little disappointed in the size of the sandwich- not quite the mountainous pound of meat (with steam still rising from the corned beef) you get when you order that same sandwich at Mendy's in Manhattan; but it was still darn tasty. The potato knish was solid too, and the sour pickles were fantastic (been years since I've had a pickle that good). I will have to try Deli Masters and the various delis with "Ben's" in their titles. So, my verdict on Buddy's- quite good, not the best I've had, but these places are sort of a dying breed, and I take what I can get.
                  I look forward to trying the other recommended delies and reporting back. Thank you all for your input.

                2. I've never retracted a recommendation, or urged people to avoid venues with which I've been less than pleased, and I'm not about to do so now. That said, I made a return to Deli Masters a couple days back, for the pastrami on rye with mustard, and, for the first time, was disappointed.

                  For the past few years, I have gone there from time to time, their pastrami on rye being as reliable in terms of quality as the sun coming up, the rooster crowing, et al. The meat was thin cut, moist, just a tad greasy, smooth and flavorful as butter going down, needing no more than a smattering of mustard to bring it all the way home. When I read Frankie's above post, I had no doubt that, from his description, he had had a bad sandwich, no two ways about it. But I was hoping it was just a case of his having gone on an off day, the curing process being, let's face, less than a precise science. But my sandwich of the other day was pretty much the same as he described: very dry, far less flavor than usual, with a rubbery, drab consistency - nothing like the DM pastrami-on-ryes that I've had in the past. On top of that, the counter person globbed on a ton of mustard, almost as if she knew. I've always counted on this sandwich, not just in terms of quality but, at less than 8 dollars, a bang for your buck. Now clocking in at 8.25, it's still cheap for pastrami on rye, but the bang may be gone.

                  BennyT, like I said, I would never urge someone not to check a place out. This is a site where, presumably, if we're curious, we try things, and take chances. I stand behind many an excellent Deli Masters sandwich that I've eaten in the past, and still dig the old school charm, ambiance and gracious, classy table service (have been going there, on and off, since my grandmother lived in that hood more than 20 years ago, after all), but not behind the one I had a couple days ago.

                  If you do go, you might want to bring a friend or two, try various menu items, split the sandwich in half, hedge your bets a bit. I hope Frankie's experience, and mine, were a one-time thing. If not, so be it. I thank a wonderful, old school business for years of excellent food and service.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Polecat

                    Hi Polecat

                    I forgot to add rubbery. You're right. It had a very weird texture to it. Almost like a fake pastrami.

                    Old traditions die hard. :(

                    Perhaps they are buying their meats from another source, but I'm glad you confirmed my experience. I hate giving a bad review and I usually don't bother to if I found something subpar, but this was pretty much inedible.

                    1. re: frankie5angels

                      Hi, it's the OP again. I owe a debt of gratitude to Polecat, Chow King, Woodside Albert, and whoever else recommended Deli Masters. We finally tried it the other day. Far and away better than Buddy's, and as good as Mendy's (in my opinion); I realize that at least a couple of you had reservations about recommending DM, but the old guys behind the counter were definitely "on" when I went on Sunday. I had a triple-decker sandwich with hot brisket, corned beef, and pastrami. The meat was moist, steaming, expertly cut, and piled high (there must have been a pound and a quarter of meat on the sandwich, a mound approximately the size of a grapefruit; this utterly dwarfed Buddy's offering); I did not find it "rubbery" at all. Now, I cannot deny the theoretical possibility that the pastrami wasn't so great (as frankie5angels and Polecat reported based on their recent expreriences); it could very well be that given the two layers of other meat, I couldn't distinguish the essence of the pastrami in its own right; but, even if this is the case, it speaks to the magnificence of the corned beef and brisket, because as I said, the sandwich on the whole was glorious. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the table service was good (which is usually not something I pay attention to, but the service at Buddy's was notably bad). Next time I'll get the same sandwich but ask for some chopped liver on top- if I survive that experience, I will report back. Although the tongue is quite tempting too...

                      1. re: bennyt

                        "if I survive that experience, I will report back"
                        Bravo. That's the spirit. Words to live by.