Welcome to the Weekly's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2011! Tune in every day until we get to número uno! Now, on to numéro soixante-deux, the latest entry.
Benjie's reminds me a lot of the diners I practically lived in back in New Jersey--vinyl seating, odd layout, blue-haired waitresses serving food with a wisecrack--except that instead of serving diner food, it serves sort-of-kind-of kosher-style food.
Benjie's is always in competition with Katella Deli out in Los Alamitos, and it's interesting because Katella Deli has superior pastrami (especially when requested extra fatty), but Benjie's has far superior corned beef. Also, Benjie's makes the standard sandwich order of my youth--rare roast beef with onions on a hard roll with Russian dressing--far better than its coastal counterpart.
The reason to go to Benjie's, though, is the accoutrements--the half-sour pickles and the chocolate egg cream, a wonderful concoction of chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer water. No eggs, no cream. The egg cream is di richtikeh chaifetz--the real deal, as good as any Lower East Side or Brooklyn hole-in-the-wall.
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The list so far this time around:
No. 63: Margherita from TJ's Woodfire Pizza
No. 64: Macaroon at Disneyland
No. 65: The Sputnik at Rick's Atomic Cafe
No. 66: Corn Dog from Disney California Adventure's Corn Dog Palace
No. 67: Bacon Fried Rice at The Loft Hawaiian
No. 68: Charcuterie and Cheese at SideDoor
No. 69: Burger (With Duck Confit) at Watermarc
No. 70: Korokke Pan at Cream Pan
No. 71: Chorizo and Quail Egg on Toast at Sol del Sur
No. 72: Fried Brussels Sprouts at 320 Main
No. 73: G-Style Fries at G Burger
No. 74: Fried Cuttlefish at Benley
No. 75: Roti at Bangok Taste
No. 76: Wet Burrito at 301 Cafe
No. 77: Pork Curry at Miyabi-Tei
No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1
No. 79: Any Sandwich at the Crosby
No. 80: Fish Pho at Pho Vinh Ky II
No. 81: Quesadilla Chilanga at Alebrije's Grill
No. 82: Lobster Roll at Lobsta Truck
No. 83: Nem Nuong Cuon at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
No. 84: Wild Boar Balinese Sausage at Valhalla Table
No. 85: Comida Corrida at Taquería La Raza
No. 86: Breakfast Burrito at Troy's Drive-In
No. 87: Mandoo at L&M Liquor and Deli
No. 88: Chicago Dog at Chicago Harv's
No. 89: Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Pee Wee's Famous
No. 90: Kaya-Stuffed French Toast at Chomp Chomp
No. 91: Egg Breakfast at Rick's Atomic Kitchen
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl