I knew this was going to be a delicious and delightful double header for me just from the aromas wafting through the parking lot. I also had the feeling that the passage of time would come to a halt.
Even before I met Lloyd Weinstein, the energetic and enthusiastic "mensch" and owner of Benjies New York Deli Restaurant and Avenue K Bar, childhood memories from the East came flooding back. Most of all I was thrilled to find that I wasn't in the least bit wrong. After reminiscing about the old days, Lloyd and I discovered that in Brooklyn our homes were a block apart, and that we also lived with 3 generations of our families. Yiddish was spoken widely, there was lots of delicious cooking and baking, lots of revelry and most of all lots of love.
Celebrating the "nachas" (joy) of 50 years, family owned restaurant and bar, Benjies & Avenue K, has proven that if you give the customers' good food and service, they will keep coming back.
Lloyd and his lovely wife and partner Noriko Weinstein are proudly celebrating this anniversary in honor of their parents, Stan and Ellie Weinstein, who found Benjies in 1967.
Their menu includes mouthwatering starters like nova lox or whitefish, stuffed cabbage roll, lox and cream cheese on a bagel, creamed or pickled herring with sliced onion, potato latkes served with applesauce and sour cream, chopped liver with sweet red onions, kishka (stuffed derma) veggie sausage sliced and grilled with brown gravy on the side, meat or potato filled knish baked into a golden brown pastry.
Benjie Specialties include The Benjie Special, hot pastrami with cole slaw and Russian dressing; Francheesy, grilled knockwurst with crisp bacon and American cheese; Coney Hot Dog Vienna Coney Island Hot Dog on a grilled egg bun with sauerkraut and diced onions on the side; Deli Feast with all deli favorites, corned beef, pastrami, turkey,tongue,salami and chopped liver; and the House Specialty is sauced brisket of beef. All are offered with delicious sides of potato salad, cole slaw macaroni salad and a variety of pickles.
You must leave room for dessert with mouthwatering choices of apple or cherry strudel, New York cheesecake, a wedge of Halvah with nuts (incredibly sentimental), and the favorite-bread pudding with bourbon sauce and whipped cream.
Located at 1828 N. Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana 92705, phone (714)541-6263 or www.benjiesdeli.com
Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekends.
Happy Hour from 3-7 p.m. with ice cold craft beer on tap and house specialty cocktails.
Take out food and catering are available.
Very well worth the trip wherever you are coming from.