After two decades of eating around New York City I finally got my fress on at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop last week. Funny thing is my first job out of college was right around the corner. I’m not sure what kept me away back then, but these days the proximity of Ben’s Best Deli to my home does a good job.
But back to Eisenberg’s. Gotta love a joint whose slogan is “Raising New York’s Cholesterol Since 1929.” That cholesterol along with plenty of schmaltz and New York attitude has also managed preserve the old school deli tradition.
My pal Drew, clearly an old hand at dining in the joint’s bustling lunch time atmosphere, humored me as I briefly considered the shrimp salad sandwich. “I always get the combo Reuben,” Drew said. Between his cajoling and the waitress’ claim that it was “the best thing in the house,” my choice was made, and I am glad it was. And it wasn’t just any plain vanilla Reuben either, but a combo of pastrami and corned beef. Well worth it for $13, too. The dynamic duo of deli meats, kraut, and cheese almost put me in an old school deli coma. (more…)
The Arch Electric dwarfs Ben’s overstuffed pastrami sandwich.
“Does anybody ever order these?” I asked the waitress at my local deli as I pointed to the list of novelty sandwiches with names like Dr. Ruth Westheimer (brisket of beef, turkey, lettuce, tomato, and Russian dressing) and the New York Newsday (salami, tongue, corned beef, and cole slaw). “Sure, all the time,” she said. By local deli I refer not to a bodega trafficking in bacon and cheese sandwiches but Ben’s Best, a bona fide Jewish deli with a 70-year history lovingly maintained by Jay Parker and his crew.
“Okay, I’ll have the Arch Electric,” I said ordering a $20.95 behemoth consisting of Chinese mustard, rolled beef, corned beef, sweet red pepper, cole slaw, and Russian dressing (Tums available on request).” In my 15 years of eating at Ben’s Best my go to order has been a pastrami on rye, so I was curious to switch it up a bit with this sandwich named for an L.I.C. based electrical contractor. Corned beef and rolled beef were a definite change of deli pace, Chinese hot mustard not so much, though I can’t say I’d ever had it in a Jewish deli. (more…)
“Wow, kids these days really love their meat,” I quipped to a gal on line at Monday night’s Brisket King NYC. The jam packed brisket competition was held at the sprawling Irondale Center, a gigantic space that was once a Sunday school auditorium. It was a fitting setting for faithful foodies to come out and worship brisket in all its incarnations, from straight-up traditional like American BBQ and deli to the downright strange, like bulogi and nigiri . (more…)
You’ll need big hands and a big appetite for Ben’s DDD .
An old-school New York City deli sandwich piled high with luscious pastrami is a joy to behold and eat. “It’ll feed a family four,” some say of these heavyweight classics that predate concern with cholesterol. Personally I always find them manageable, if filling. My go-to spot for deli—Ben’s Best—is a mere 10-minute walk from C+M headquarters. When it comes to deli I’m a purist, and don’t mix meats. I make one exception for Ben’s DDD, a dreadnought of a deli combo created by Guy Fieri.
The triple-decker DDD named for Fieri’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” is a powerhouse of deli sandwiches dreamed up by Fieri and longtime Ben’s Best deliman, Richy. The two concocted it during Fieri’s visit to the 65-year-old Rego Park institution. At the time I joked with Ben’s owner, Jay Parker, that his establishment must fall under the “dives” category. (more…)