Snapshot: At Benny's, eating out is like being 'a guest at our home'
By David J. Glenn
If you could make fresh, kosher pizza with all kinds of toppings, along with calzones, falafel balls, and the array of other popular Italian-style foods at home, you would, right?
But if you're like most of us, you have to rely on people who've made a career of pizza-making.
Like Yaakov Dayan, who bought Benny's Famous Pizza at 4515-13th Avenue nearly three decades ago. (Interestingly enough, Dayan's son is also named Benny).
"Our goal is to have every customer feel like he's a guest at our home," Dayan said. "We don't rush anybody, even if we're near closing."
Benny's tradition of making everything in-house adds to the home-cooking ambiance. "We don't bring anything in from outside," Dayan said. "We make everything here" — including cheese blintzes which he is particularly proud of.
There also are fish dishes, a variety of pasta, vegetable assortments, and more.
Of course, pizza is king, and Benny's has no fewer than 35 different types — everything from standard to whole wheat to no-cheese (pizza without cheese? — not as crazy as you might think).
Benny's doesn't have its website, but it doesn't need one — most customers prefer to come in rather than order online. But for those who can't tear themselves away from their laptops, delivery is available through Uber Eats, GrubHub, and other online services — which loyal customers had used extensively when the store was closed at the height of the Covid pandemic.
There are no demographics about Benny's customers — men, women, teens, children, "they all come in," Dayan said.
Neither are there any highs or lows of the number of customers who visit Benny's — "We're busy all the time," he said.
Well, it's REALLY busy right before Pesach, as people take in their last chometz for eight days, and right after, when they welcome chometz back.