Growing up in Brooklyn most days for me was playing basketball, handball, stickball, football, anything that could keep me running around just until sundown and dinner was on the table. A whistle or a shout from my parents  usually got me running home and washed up for dinner. Now don’t get me wrong, my mom is the best cook I know but a night out to eat at a resteraunt was the coolest thing ever, as far as I was concerned. Some kids grew up ordering in every night and were regulars with their families at the local restaurants but not the Korns. We appreciated mom’s cooking because it was just so good. Mainly italian dishes that she learned from her mother and grandmother but never a surprise when she changed it up with an asian dish or something alike. How do you satisfy the tastebuds of a family who are only subject to perfect home cooking? You choose wisely my friend that is the answer. Lioni’s “King of Mozzarella” , Spumoni Gardens, John’s deli,  Roll n Roaster to only name a few of my local favorites. Do not  worry I have enclosed at the bottom, a list of go to spots in different neighborhoods. A real treat was when the family ordered some jewish deli classics from the Mill Basin deli on avenue T. Pastrami on garlic bread half w brown mustard half w russian dressing, thick cut fries, Kishka, pickles and coleslaw, my mouth is watering!

When I think of bensonhurst two places usually jump to the top of my list. L&B is one and John’s deli is the other. John’s deli is top three sandwich spots in Brooklyn for sure. After being bought over two years ago I was a bit sour but to be fair they have kept the food the same great tasting stuff I grew up on and they have only done better than worse. They fixed the place up from front to back and they are all over their seamless game. Longer hours including breakfast and late dinner are all improvements so what’s to complain about? Ever dream about a sandwich or is that just me? Clearly we are getting personal so I am going to let you in on my John’s deli favorite. To most a roast beef sandwich with the works (onions moz and gravy) will suffice but not I. Sounds simple but their BLT is amazing! Shredded lettuce makes it with their tomatoes and mayo on a fresh brooklyn baked roll. My other go-to is genoa salami with fresh mozzarella and their homemade tomato salad on a roll. A little simplicity never hurt nobody.  Now if you are reading this and  bugging out because I’m not paying respect to their roast beef, calm yaself it tastes great, I am just not a fan of roast beef. They have specials everyday of the week and If you are their on a monday they serve a mean hot pastrami on pretzel bread. I will end John’s deli with one thought for you. If not for anything I have mentioned, go for the rice balls, they honestly are crack!

L&B spumoni gardens is a category in of itself. A slice of pizza sent down from god himself. Much different than your average and strangely enough not for everyone’s liking because of their originality in pizza making, Spumoni Gardens is my favorite place away from home.

Another favorite I need to talk about is Roll n Roaster, the not so fast, fast food restaurant. I can confidently say I have had just about everything on their menu at least once. Cheese, cheese and more cheese! Roast beef and cheese on a dipped roll just for fun, mozzarella sticks and cheese fries for a little amuse bouche and then chicken fingers that will burn your tongue worse than you know unless properly vented. The trick is to crack em open and let em cool down while you feast on everything else that you could fit on the tray. This joint is right in the heart of sheepshead bay and is a hangout and landmark to the natives. A perfect birthday IMHO starts with a spin on their birthday wheel where you CAN’T lose! From 5$ to 25$ in roll n roaster coins it is a win-win. I actually had my first legal drink at this establishment and just fyi I chose a budweiser over a bottle of moet that is readily available, if you so desire. A black and white shake or apple pie a la mode to wash it all down and you can roll all the way home if you fit out the door.

There are so many great places that I always looked forward to going to when I was younger and still do! I could keep going on and on about them but I am making myself hungry and roll n roaster doesn’t deliver this far! I suggest you try some of the places I listed or just go exploring!

We only live once so make sure it tastes good!


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About The Author

Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York