First things first: Star Deli in Benson is not the same Star Deli that was in the Jewish Community Center in Omaha. I figured this out quickly when I first walked into Benson’s Star Deli and didn’t see matzo ball soup on the menu. I guess I was confused because for whatever reason I was under the impression that this was the same place. I asked the guy at the counter and he responded with a quick, “No, ma’am,” which was in a tone that indicated he’d responded to this question before.
I had walked in expecting to indulge in the same types of food I devour when I visit my Jewish family in Los Angeles, but had to switch gears and instead check out what the Star Deli menu had to offer. It’s not an extensive menu by any means, but the sandwich combinations they offer are pretty impressive. I ordered the Long Beach Club, which features house smoked turkey, applewood smoked bacon, fresh avocado, cucumber, tomato and Swiss cheese.
Taste the food, not the masking of food
Let me tell you what I liked best about this sandwich: it wasn’t slathered in mayonnaise, which seems to be what most places do. What typically happens at other sandwich places is that I order a sandwich, forget to ask for very little mayonnaise, and then have to spend time scraping off the twelve cups of mayonnaise that was dumped on the bread. It’s not that I’m anti-mayonnaise – it’s just that I think if a sandwich has tasty, fresh ingredients there’s no reason to mask everything with a bunch of white goop.
All mayonnaise rants aside, the sandwich was good. My friend ordered the Turkey Pesto, which included house smoked turkey, homemade pesto mayo, tomato and provolone cheese. She commented that the food tasted fresh and she enjoyed the flavor of the pesto. My other friend had a French Dip, which was impressive in size, yet rapidly consumed.
I brought my son along and he ordered a grilled cheese sandwich from the Kids Menu. After his first bite he asked me to get the recipe from the cook. I replied that I was pretty sure I already have the recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich, but I was glad he was enjoying the food.
Star Deli also just so happens to be an active art gallery. They host a number of events there throughout the year to help out the local art scene. While we ate our meal we were able to enjoy several large paintings from a variety of local artists. My son found the painting of the nude woman in the woods rather silly and a little embarrassing, but give him a few years and he probably won’t be able to take his eyes off it.
I liked the ambiance of the place because it felt as though we had sauntered into an art gallery and accidentally stumbled upon a secret eatery in the corner. Star Deli feels more like an art gallery that happens to serve food as opposed to a deli that happens to display art, and if you ask me, I think that’s pretty great.
Go for the food or go for the art, but either way this is a good place in Benson to stop for a casual bite to eat.
6114 Military Avenue
Monday – Thursday: 11:00AM – 12:00AM
Friday – Saturday: 11:00AM – 2:00AM