Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bye-bye Ben's?


Ben's Best, the Queens deli that's played host to politicians hungry for its famous pastrami, was shuttered yesterday.

It wasn't immediately clear why the doors were closed at the eatery, famous for catering political fund-raisers from its Queens Boulevard location.

Health Department officials said the restaurant failed a final follow-up inspection Thursday.

The delicatessen made a national splash in 1999 when then-Gov. George Pataki made an NBA playoff bet with then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush on the finals between the Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs.

Bush won the bet, and cashed in on a feast of matzo balls, kosher sandwiches and "Cel-Ray" soda.

Photo from Queens Gazette


Anonymous said...

It would be good payback to the machine that it would be replaced by Salim's International Market and Bodega - nuts sweets hallal meats - catering welcome.

Even provide some hooka pipes for the machine on the sidewalk.

To complete the picture, you need school kids playing hooky and blocking the doorway, grafitti on the walls and a big pile of boxes next to a stinking leaking dumpster.

Funny, in Brooklyn or Manhattan a bodega becomes a Zabars in 10 years, in Queens, the opposite happens.

Anonymous said...

It's probably going to become another Cheburechnya

georgetheatheist said...

Four years ago I purchased 2 franks with sauerkraut at Ben's. About 2 hours later, I developed an extreme case of vomiting. I swore never, ever, to eat at Ben's again.

Anonymous said...

This goes to show that no matter how good of a reputation a slop joint has the food in it can still be unsanitary and have rat droppings in it or whatnot.

So if you really want to play it safe you have to never eat out anymore and dine at home, instead, on bland meals like potatoes and gruel, without any pretty waitresses about in skimpy skirts either.

"But alas," says you, "we've gots our ol' ladies about."

What of it?!

Anonymous said...

I picked up this week's Queens Tribune and there was an ad for Ben's in it. So I guess there was no plan to close, they just got the rug pulled out from under them.

Anonymous said...

Bens Best is probably another victim of the vindictive rage conducted by the Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden of the Dept. of Health.

He was caught being indifferent to the inspections (NOT) at rat infested food merchants and bribe-taking inspectors at restaurants.

To show the food industry that they are at the mercy of head-up-the-ass morons like Frieden, the inspectors have been closing places for violations like fingerprints on doorknobs. (Actually, for failing to leave fingerprints on the currency paid to the inspectors.)

Bens Best: Reopen soon. You ARE the best! Screw Frieden; he's just another Bloomberg Lackey!

Anonymous said...

Hello Jay Parker.

Anonymous said...

A Cel-Ray soda? Is it from celery? Yuck!

Anonymous said...

taxpayer isn't Jay. He's been blogging on this site for decades, in company of the rest of us congenial f'ers. And hey, who knows, maybe Ben's did get a raw deal like he says.

Anonymous said...

Ben's claims to be kosher, but many of my orthodox neighbors avoid it. The kosher certificate is provided by Rabbi Israel Mayer Steinberg, viewed by many local orthodox Jews as being too lenient in his supervision standards.

Rego Park isn't as kosher as it used to be. A few months ago, Queens Boulevard lost its only kosher pizzeria. The pizzeria often has bugs crawling around. It was since replaced by a non-kosher Italian pizzeria.

The demographics are changing. Rego Park's new Jewish residents prefer tandoori bread over bagels.

Anonymous said...

I really miss.....wasn't it
the " Pastrami King ".....
where Donald Manes and his fellow crooks
used to discuss dividing up their graft money
after it had been passed along
in the mens' rooms at borough hall?

I guess that Claire Shulman was too ignorant to know that all this bribery was going on right under
her very nose.....frequenting only
the ladies' powder rooms herself.

Anonymous said...

I had a German friend who used to take me to this small food stand in the Queens Mall many years ago. They sold bradvurst (sp?) which were similar to hotdogs, but really delicious and filling.

Anonymous said...

" Pastrami King ".....

It moved to Manhattan, renamed Pastrami Queen, and was forced out of its location last year due to a Bovis inspired block wide knockdown that ripped out the heart of 86th Street for more yuppie high-rises.

An active block full of useful stores that catered to the community will be replaced by a bank or the like.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Dr Browns sodas in the past 10 years have been replaced by Inca Cola and the like.

My teeth fall out just looking at that sugar laced sickly sweet junk.

Anonymous said...

Is it just possible that the reason the restaurant is closed is because the restaurant failed the followup DOH inspection? I'm guessing that by now, the DOH has exhausted their entire year's supply of "CLOSED by order of Health Department" signs.

Roger said...

I panicked reading this so I called Ben's Best. THey are open and the guy was surprised when I told him of the rumors of their closing. He said "We have an 'A' in the window."

So all is well and we will soon head to Queens for another Pastrami fix.

With the Stage Deli closed, BB's is really the best sandwich in the Metro area.