Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scrappy Gen and Ben's Deli

My good friend Jennifer prepared this fabulous post for your reading pleasure - Enjoy!

Two visits two New York City in less than two months is a record for me. We had lunch with Suzee on October 23 and last Saturday I was back again, but I didn’t have time to see my old (as in long time, not age) friend.

Promises, Promises, playing at the Broadway Theatre, was the destination for my parents, my aunt, my sister and me. My Aunt is a big fan of Burt Bacharach, the music composer, and this was her last chance to see the musical, which closes on January 2. Sean Hayes was hysterical in the leading role and Kristin Chenoweth has a beautiful voice. The original movie, The Apartment, was a fairly serious one, but this show is fun and highly enjoyable.

We took the train to Grand Central Station from New Haven and arrived with a couple of hours during which to eat lunch. My Aunt’s friend had recommended that we try Ben’s Kosher Deli on 38th Street, a short ten or fifteen minute walk from the train station.

We were there early for lunch at 11:45 and quickly got a table. Before we had our coats off, we had been served big bowls of coleslaw and pickles, both dill and half sour. All three were crunchy and delicious.

The menu has a very large selection, but a couple of items appealed to our whole group; the famous Ben’s stuffed cabbage, the matzah ball soup, the hot pastrami on rye and the potato pancakes.

We all declared the stuffed cabbage a winner. The sauce tasted slightly sweet. The appetizer serving of one cabbage is enough for a lunch meal. Of course, we didn’t stop there and also had a half a pastrami on rye. The pastrami was tasty, but could have been better with a little less fat. My Dad had the matzah ball soup. I tasted the matzah ball and it was light and well peppered. The only item none of us loved was the potato pancake. Maybe it was New York style. We were hoping for a lighter, crisper pancake.

The service was good and quick, particularly considering it was the height of the shopping season. Would we make a return trip to Ben’s? Yes. In fact, I don’t have a choice as my husband, MJ, is not very happy that he missed out on the meal and has vowed that we will return. Perhaps to attend Boychick’s Bar Mitzvah.

Before we left New York to return to New Haven, my Mom and Aunt wanted to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. Doing this on a Saturday evening in late December is not something that I recommend, unless you are really good with crowds. It was absolutely crazy, but we did glimpse the tree.

My favorite part of our trip though was seeing these talented fellows:

The Salvation Army employees were singing and dancing their hearts out with microphones and karaoke. They gathered big crowds as they worked their magic and people dusted off their hearts and dug deep into their pockets to show their appreciation. It was a neat thing to see.

All in all, we had a great trip to New York and loved Ben’s Kosher Deli. The only thing missing from the trip was seeing Suzee.


How about Ben’s and shopping in January?


Scrappy Gen