Racing around Midtown’s hectic fashion district? Take a break the old New York way and visit Ben’s for some hearty kosher cooking. Entering the rotating door on 38th Street into this double dining-room is like stepping into another time. Waiters hurry a platter of coleslaw and bowl of pickles out to your table before setting the heavyweight menu down in front of you. Taking pride usually reserved for Jewish mothers, Ben’s promotes the medicinal-like benefice of the chicken soup, in addition to traditional bowls of matzo ball soup (and the annual matzo-ball eating contest, oy!).
The colorful purple wallpaper plays off the garish carpets and red vinyl booths; the atmosphere definitely not an exercise in minimalism. Attention is better paid to classics like the pastrami, knishes, or for old timers, gefilte fish platter. Whatever you select off the menu, Ben’s does its darndest to make sure you leave with a filled, satisfied stomach—just enough padding to bravely face the crowded vendors outside again.