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Jewish Deli Recommendation?

Hello - we will be in town for our grandmother's memorial service in Queens next weekend. Where in Queens, or in any of the boroughs really, can we take a small family gathering for a pleasant Jewish Deli-style meal?

Any recommendations greatly appreciated.

Thanks from Austin, TX

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  1. Ben's Of Bayside (718 229 2367) or Ben's Best, Rego Park (718 897 1700). Do a search and see if they have websites. I use Ben's Best since I don't have a car. Subway stops nearby. Ben's of Bayside requires a car. Neighbors in our building who have cars seem to prefer Ben's of Bayside. I hope you get other responses since I know other Deli's exist in Rego Park.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mike V

      I went to Ben's in Rego Park for the first time about a month ago and I won't be going back. The food is mediocre at best, the sandwiches are stacked to look like more then they are (more in the middle less on the sides) and the pastrami had a bolonga taste to it. I took one bite of the microwaved potato pancakes (latkes) and didn't touch them again, hard as a rock, rubbery and inedible. I guess I've been spoiled by Katz Deli when it comes to pastrami. Just my 2 cents.

    2. I've not been myself but many really like this place and it may be convenient to your location.

      1. As Tay suggested, Deli Masters in Fresh Meadows is the place you want. Despite some grumbling from Ben's and Ben's Best loyalists, a recent visit confirmed that Deli Masters is the best in Queens for pastrami, corned beef, et al.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chow King

          Thanks for the second on Deli Master's. I always get 'beaten up' by the Ben's lover's. I think there is a lot of continued confusion RE: Ben's and Ben's Best, or something to that effect. I also like Jay and Lloyd's in Brooklyn. The food is not as good as Deli Master's, but the owners and staff are soooo nice that it's always a pleasure to dine there. For some unknown to me reason, a lot of Deli's have staff that are unpleasent or downright surly. That doesn't sit well with me...

          1. re: Tay

            I love the corned beef at Deli Master!

        2. I saw Jay and Lloyds mentioned regarding Brooklyn. Being that Brooklyn has been brought to the conversation, I would highly recommend the Mill Basin Deli on 59th street and avenue T. I must agree with the comments about Ben's Deli.
          On one of my Sunday drives into Manhattan to do some shopping at B&H Photo, I got a parking spot right near the restaurant around 37th and 7th avenue.
          Boy, was I disappointed. Don't think i'll goto that location again. The matzoh ball soup had a large black hair in it (sent that back). And the pastrami and corned beef sandwich was way below par.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Howard_b2

            I vote for Jay and Lloyds on Avenue U.
            I like their corned beef and pastrami and their flanken.

          2. Well, it's a schlep from Queens, but if you're ever in the Bronx, Leibman's Deli on 235th and Johnson in Riverdale is a traditional Jewish deli, and a good one.

            1. The Ben's in Bayside is quite good, I think. I mean, for what it is. I don't know about Ben's Best, though.

              However, having re-read your post, you ask for a Jewish Deli-Styled meal. One word that I think everyone is assuming, but which is not actually in your post... "Kosher". When you say Jewish deli styled... do you mean it needs to be Kosher, or just that it needs to be in the style of a Jewish deli?

              1 Reply
              1. re: whiner

                I thought about that as well. I'm assuming (I know, I know) that the OP is looking for "style" I think if Kosher was part of the equation that it would have been indicated.

              2. Ben's Best in Rego Park recently had some rather serious NYC Health Department issues. It is not and has never been affiliated with the Ben's group of delis, FYI.

                I am a fan of Ben's (www.bensdeli.net). I cannot speak to comments about the Manhattan location, but have eaten in the Bayside, Greenvale, Woodbury and Carle Place locations many times over many years and have never had an experience like the one described by Howard b2. The Bayside location has a private room of which you may be able to make use depending on the size of your group.

                Below is a link to a rather spirited recent discussion about some Queens delis. Maybe it will help make your decision.


                4 Replies
                1. re: Shayna Madel

                  Shayna Madel
                  I don't recall the thread to which you refer, but I'm betting you were being the epitome of tact when you typed the words "rather spirited". It's usually a brawl in here :-}

                  1. re: Tay

                    Yeah, that's me, tactful all the time. I did not appreciate being excoriated on the earlier thread for my cardinal sin of not remembering the exact details of why I had a negative opinion of Deli Masters from a meal several years before and figured this thread wasn't the place to dredge up the old, but what the heck. My personal style on message boards is not to attack unless attacked first, as, for the most part, they're full of opinion, people have differing standards and opinions as to what's good and what's not and I generally am not one to insult strangers right out of the box, but can joust with the best of them, when called on or when I feel the need to do so. By way of example, I don't think that it's particularly appropriate to characterize the opinions of people who care for one deli over another as "grumblings," simply because a poster prefers a different deli. One can differ in opinion with someone else without being sarcastic in a mean-spirited way and still get one's point across. I have promised myself to go back to Deli Masters (with at least one other person, so we can try a few things...), as it has been years since my negative experience there and thought it would be fair to give it another shot, but haven't had the chance to do so. And for the record, and for what it's worth, the owner of the almost consensus best appetizing place in Nassau County (Andel's, in Roslyn, which also sells deli meats and cold salads, but truly is known for it's appetizing) said to me, unsolicited, while we were chatting when I went with my mother to place her break fast holiday order, that Ben's has some of the best potato salad and cole slaw around. (Since I did not think it appropriate to ask his opinion about his competitor's meat, I can't offer his opinion on Ben's cold cuts.)

                    1. re: Shayna Madel

                      In many instances I think it's like chosing a certain manuf/make of car. There is a reason some people swear by a GM while others insist Toyota is the way to go. Opinions are based on personal experiences and reinforced by those of our family and friends. I happened to have a good experience at Deli Master's while you, unfortunately, did not. We are both entitled to express our opinions, and agree to disagree. We are not entitled to bash each other's character just because we disagree. SOme posters just don't get that This happens to me every time I respond to a posting about DeFara's or Peter Lugers and I find it rather rude. I've only been to Deli Master's twice, so my experiences with their food is limited. I will be interested to see if your next experience turns out to better/the same/worse than your previous.encounter. Consistancy should be a key factor.
                      Thank you for your 'voice of reason' posting.

                      1. re: Tay

                        You are welcome. I truly do believe that when one doesn't know the another person's frame of reference, level of exposure to various things, level of sophistication, in essence, that person's universe, one offers one's own opinion on what's up for discussion and one makes critical observations, but doesn't bash others. I am all for wit and sarcasm, but the nasty stuff takes the fun out of the board. Of course, there are those that are simply not smart enough or were not raised in a way so as to understand that, or clever enough to pull it off.

                2. Having been to all of the ones discussed and mentioned, I suggest what I think is better than the others, and a better atmosphere for sure. Deli King in New Hyde Park, Lake Success Shopping Center. Excellent Patrami, stuffed cabbage, soups, french fries, cole slaw, etc...and great dinner specials...classic waitresses right out of Seinfeld.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: janie

                    It sounded great...Up until the, 'classic waitresses right out if Seinfeld" That, I'm afraid, would not be anyone's idea of a comforting experience lol!

                    1. re: Tay

                      you get used to it, it's the waitresses that give the place its charm, because it's a rather spruced up contemporary looking spot, albeit in a retro styled building--
                      there's something comforting about having your food put down hard in front of you, the same waitresses have been there for years on end, once they know you (which they know us well), they shower you with extra goodies, etc, and they always give you free dessert there, these very good meringue cookies, and some sort of carrot cake strudel thing...they feed the entire staff of LIJ hospital and all the doctors in the area, they are down the road...

                    2. re: janie

                      Yet another place I have been to and would not make a conscious effort to return to. I don't remember what meat I had, but recall it was dry and that I did not care for the sides (potato salad and cole slaw). To each his own.