Jewish Penicillin

On a cold rainy day, I always crave Jewish Deli. You know, those damp and bone chilling days, when nothing will warm you up.

It seems for the past few months, it has snowed or rained every Wednesday. You can pretty much set your clock by it. So like clock work, the one place you’ll find me is Ben’s.

Ben’s is the quintessential Jewish Deli in the heart of the Garment Center. The real deal.

When you step inside, you’re immediately greeted with a friendly smile. To the left is counter service and to the right is the large cafeteria style dining room. For me, it’s the dining room.

Within in minutes of being seated, the true test of a Jewish deli appears; a bowl of pickles and cole slaw. Crunchy cabbage that doesn’t have your typical thick mayonnaise sauce. It’s like a shredded cabbage salad. And the pickles are crisp, crunchy and garlicky. YUMMM. A great preview of what’s to come.

The menu is large like the sandwiches. But if you can’t handle a sandwich by yourself, no worries. Go for their soup and 1/2 sandwich combo. Pastrami, corned beef, and brisket to name just a few. And of course Matzo Ball Soup aka Jewish Penicillin. But I decide to go with my usual. Mushroom Barley Soup and a Hot Dog.

My soup is warm and hearty with chunks of mushrooms and creamy barley. The first spoonful warms my belly immediately. Takes the chill out of a rainy day and my bones. Next my hot dog. I like mine with proper brown mustard and sauerkraut. When I take a bite and hear that snap, it’s like a party in my mouth.

How much did my feast cost? $10 including tax & tip. My belly and wallet are very happy.


Happiness, $25 and under.



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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”


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