While spending a night in (for a change) I caught a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives Marathon. And say what you wish about Guy Fieri, but sometimes he goes places that really make my mouth water. I get especially excited when he visits places in NYC! Because then i get to taste firsthand what all the fuss is about. And when people say,”How did you hear about this place?” I can be all, “Oh, from Guy Fieri”. Its gonna impress people one of these days.
One one particular day, Guy Fieri was standing in QUEENS! and Now that Queens is my borough of residence, I got all excited when he visited a delicatessen that was a few train stops away from my apartment. I made a note to self to visit the location in the near future.
Fast Forward 1 Week.
I spent some time with my parents and they wanted to have a good and hearty lunch. Mom was craving a thick deli sandwich from Katz Deli (which I still have not tried). But while mom was getting excited, she mentioned wishing Katz wasnt so expensive.
LIGHTBULB. Guy Fieri came to mind. It was then i suggested we all go to Ben’s Best Delicatessen in Rego Park, Queens.
Mom was definitely game. We hopped in the car and drove to Rego Park (actually, dad drove, cuz i dont have a license yet), had a ridiculous time finding parking on Queens Boulevard, finally found a spot 3 blocks away and made our way to Ben’s Best.
Having been a New Yorker my whole life, i have been to this part of Queens often and never once noticed the small deli sandwiched between a dollar store and a lot less. But thanks to the many hours I dedicate
watching Food Network researching, i was led to this tiny little wonder.
We got there just in time as a table had opened up. Its a small place with about 12 tables. As soon as we were seated we were given menus, a platter with coleslaw and two types of pickles. Just then, several people came in and had to wait for a table to open up. But service is quick so if you wait, 10 minutes wait time might be in order. But it can be well spent by perusing the wall of awesome articles, awards and photographs (especially the one with Guy Fieri).
After we placed our orders, the owner (whom i recognized from tv) came and replenished our pickle and cole slaw plate because we “looked like [we] really enjoyed that… or eat everything that is put in from of [us]”. We had a good laugh because we basically ate it because it was in front of us. It was tasty so it wasnt a chore or anything… But having the owner come out to the table was really awesome. Throughout our visit, he was observing the diners and making sure all was well. I really liked that- he cares about his customers and how the service goes. Even taking time to replenish our coleslaw was awesome. I wanted to give him a high five. (i didnt though)
This huge homemade knish was brought out with our sandwiches. It was pretty amazing! and FILLING!
I ordered the homemade pastrami on homemade rye. The pastrami was warm and juicy. It made for a delicious experience- bite after delicious bite. We also shared an order of handcut fries.
Our total for 3 sandwiches and an order of fries: $39. Insanely good deal. They also take credit cards (take THAT Katz!) and their menu is HUGE!
So, if you are in the area, willing to travel to Queens, or just looking to save some money on a great deli experience head over to Katz. I am def going back…. they have a gorgeous Matzo ball soup that i spied Several people devouring!