At the end of a long day of visiting with out-of-town relatives, we wanted someplace to eat where we could enjoy some conversation before heading home. We happened upon Ben's and were very pleased - and that's from several die-hard Katz's fans! The quality of the food was great. I had a corned beef/pastrami combination sandwich which was very lean and tasy. It was accompanied by large, hand-cut french fries and stuffed derma, both of which were excellent. My wife and I started with the chicken noodle soup with a matzo ball. It was very good, but here is where Katz loyalty came into play. At Katz's, the matzo soup is a large matzo in a small bowl - actually there is very little soup, but that makes the dish a little more manageable when you're eating other things. The Ben's soup is a large matzo in a full bowl of chicken noodle soup (Oddly with no pieces of chicken.. It was excellent, but a little more soup that we planned on handling! Anyway, we all enjoyed our food, and the great service. One thing to be aware of if you aren't a deli regular, they are kosher, so don't expect to get a (e.g.) Reuben - Not a criticism, just an observation.
The side street location makes it less overwhelmingly busy than many other places, and it is handy to MSG, the Port Authority, Times Square and NY Penn Station.
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