Benji’s, a Milwaukee fixture since 1963, is an old-school Jewish-Midwestern delicatessen. Its menu ranges from corned beef sandwiches on rye to Friday night fish fries, from blintzes filled with sweet pot cheese to eggs Benedict and Cobb salad. Unbound by any particular culinary rules, it offers classic chicken-in-the pot and fried matzoh and an invention called Reuben rolls (the Reuben sandwich reconfigured in a wonton roll). The drink menu includes locally bottled Sprecher’s root beer as well as old-fashioned chocolate phosphates (syrup & soda water).
We especially like Benji’s because it is one of the few restaurants in the Midwest that serves the old farmhouse meal called hoppel poppel – a griddle-cooked, kitchen-sink breakfast of salami, scrambled eggs, and potato chunks. Super hoppel poppel adds peppers and mushrooms and blankets the whole thing with melted cheese.
Of course, Benji’s is a good place for piled-high deli sandwiches, lox-and-bagel platters, sweet-and-sour cabbage borscht, and crisp potato pancakes served with apple sauce. For dessert, choose carrot cake or cheesecake (both from scratch), pecan squares or a halvah bar.
Note: a second Benji’s is located at 8683 N. Port Washington Rd. (414-228-5130)