Monday, October 17, 2011

Ben's Best is Right

Some of my favorite meals have been shared with my Kreplach Brother, Micah. Ever since seeing Ben's Best Kosher Deli on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, we've been wanting to go. I live in the Hudson Valley and Micah visits northern New Jersey often. So last week I picked him up and we drove to Queens.

We tried a number of sides and appetizers. We realized that we had never eaten kreplach together. Ben's fried kreplach were superb. Served with lots of caramelized onions. Also, they provided duck sauce for dipping, which seemed strange, but went amazingly well. Had it not been Kosher, I might have wanted sour cream instead. We also recommend the health salad, more finely shredded than others we have had, and that helped the flavors blend beautifully.

The highlight, and what we really came for, was the sandwiches. He had pastrami. And while I normally favor pastrami these days, I grew up eating corned beef and wanted that comfort feeling again. We each took a taste of the other's. Both were the best we can recall. Great flavor, and just the right amount of fat. And while disappointed that the rye was seedless, it was fresh and substantial. We were quite in heaven with those sandwiches, the accompanying cole slaw, pickles and Dr. Brown's cream sodas.

Owner Jay Parker was kind enough to pose with us for a photo. He said the corned beef and pastrami are their own; made to their recipe, and the pastrami smoked in house.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New York Neighborhood Pizza

Recently I found myself in Corona, Queens, NY at dinnertime. I had planned to eat somewhere that turned out to be closed. I had previously noticed Corona Pizza, so decided to go there.

It was a pretty dingy place, and it wasn't very busy on a Friday night at 7 p.m. Nonetheless, I ordered two slices of cheese pizza and took a Stewart's root beer from the cooler.

The pizza was really good. Not exceptional, but solid New York "plain" pizza like I grew up with in the Bronx. I imagine you can go into any neighborhood pizza joint in the city and expect a good slice. (Better than from that chain La Famiglia, which is OK for airports, but they're all over Manhattan now...fuggedaboudit!).

Two slices and a soda...$6.25. And across the street, the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Enjoyed an exquisitely good lemon Italian ice in the park there watching the guys play bocce. That's New York!