Ben’s Best Kosher Deli
9620 Queens Blvd, Rego Park
Everyone celebrates the holidays in their own ways, so this year, Spud and I decided to celebrate Hanukkah at a local institution, Ben’s Best in Rego Park. While every tourist visits Carnegie and 2nd Avenue Delis, Ben’s has been supplying Queens locals with amazing deli fare since 1945. If you want an authentic old school Queens experience, this is it. Inspired by this episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, we decided to feast on some kreplach and stuffed cabbage, the way my ancestors probably had done for centuries. The kreplach (fried meat dumplings) with onions is a signature dish at Ben’s and it is outstanding. The meat is high quality and the onions are really crispy, but what puts it over the edge is that it is served with duck sauce! Since it tastes like an egg roll and most Jews love their Chinese food, it’s a brilliant twist. The stuffed cabbage was also excellent, with tender leaves and a filling that is mostly meat, not rice. I am usually not a fan of the sweet sauce, but their raisin sauce is excellent. If you share the kreplach appetizer ($5.75) and stuffed cabbage lunch special ($14.95), which includes soup, potatoes, vegetables, coffee/tea, and the pickles and great cole slaw, you will only spend about $10 per person and enjoy plenty of food. You may even have a few dollars to spend on some rugelach. Happy Hanukkah!