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Ben’s Deli scores with knish, hot dog mashup

The hush puppy at Ben's Deli in Greenvale

The hush puppy at Ben's Deli in Greenvale features a kosher frank embedded inside mashed potatoes wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

He could have come up with a better name than “hush puppy.” But back when Ronnie Dragoon took a kosher hot dog, embedded it inside a mound of mashed potatoes destined for knish filling, enfolded the works in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried it — well, that was decades before Dominique Ansel’s Cronut kicked off the vogue for culinary mashups.

But whatever you call it, this triple threat is a highlight at Ben’s Deli, the mini-chain of kosher delicatessens that Dragoon founded in 1972. I recently had one for breakfast at the Greenvale store and it obviated the need for lunch.

Dragoon said that he came up with the hush puppy about 25 years ago but until recently, it was not on the menu — it just sat quietly next to the knishes and kugels at the deli counter. Whether you eat it in or take it out, it’s $8.49.

As for the name, I’m thinking of calling it the franken-knish or the fat cow in a blanket or the kn’egg roll. Or how about just calling it the cardiologist’s fee.

Ben’s Deli is at 140 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale, 516-621-3340, 59 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-742-3354, 7971 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-496-4236, bensdeli.net

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