A Little Time and a Keyboard: Family Tradition Thrives at Max and Benny's Restaurant

Family Tradition Thrives at Max and Benny's Restaurant

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Max and  Bennys Restaurant Northbrook

We visited Max and Benny's in Northbrook a couple of Fridays ago for dinner. We expected a crowd on a Friday evening, so we arrived early. We soon learned that the restaurant not only attracted a crowd but tables of jovial diners eager to not only enjoy a meal but to sit with friends and family sharing the news of the week.

A suburban Chicago mainstay, Max and Benny's opened 30 years ago by Rhea and Lester Schlan and is still owned by the Schlan family today. Named after the Schlans' sons, Max & Benny's maintains a sizable menu featuring many traditional Jewish favorites crafted from family recipes. You will no doubt find your favorites here including my husband's favorite, Chicken Mish Mosh Soup--which is comfort food at its finest! Family through and through is what you will find at Max & Benny's!

Chicago Jewish delicatessen at Max and Benny's
What a delicatessen!
When we first walked in, we took note of Max and Benny's large delicatessen and bakery. In addition to traditional delicatessen items, patrons can find many Max and Benny's meals pre-packaged and ready to go. So fabulous to have on hand for a quick meal at home!

Homemade mini pies at Max and Benny's
Hurray for mini pies!
The bakery is certainly a sight to behold! Just WOW! Cookies and pastries galore--and mini pies! I am totally in love with the mini pies! I am usually hesitant to purchase a pie because I know that my family will not eat the entire pie. But, the mini pies work perfectly for our family of three! A little indulgence without being out of control!

Fresh sugar cookies at Max and Benny's
Did someone say cookie?
We sat down for our meal and were amazed by the range of the menu! I highly recommend ordering at least one of Max and Benny's traditional items to enjoy traditional Jewish cooking. But, there are plenty of other items on the menu including salads, sandwiches, wraps, omelettes, burgers and more. There are some pre-determined salads but you can also build your own which is a great feature.

Chicken Mish Mosh Soup at Max & Benny's
Chicken Mish Mosh Soup
My husband, of course, ordered his favorite, Chicken Mish Mosh Soup, including kreplach (a dumpling filled with beef) and matzo balls. We visited on a rainy day and the Chicken Mish Mosh Soup seemed to be a favorite among patrons. Completely delicious!

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup at Max and Benny's in Northbrook
Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
I ordered the salmon dinner accompanied by vegetables and a potato pancake as well as a cup of Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup. All of the soups at Max and Benny's are freshly homemade. I enjoyed the Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup but did find it a little sweet. I added some bagel crisps and quite enjoyed the combo. We received a basket full of bakery delights, so finding the bagel crisp to add was a breeze.

Baked breads at Max & Benny's
Baked goodies

Salmon dinner at Max and Bennys
A complete dinner!
A full plate of food gave me a pleasant sense of surprise when my dinner arrived. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't a generous portion of salmon! I went with the plain salmon, but diners can also chose from teriyaki and bbq preparations. The salmon was quite enjoyable with a spritz of lemon. The potato pancake was AMAZING! You can eat it with some applesauce or sour cream, but it was divine on its own. Max and Benny's is one of USA Today's best places in the whole country to get a potato pancake. So, definitely the place to order one!

Potato Pancake at Max and Bennys
Look at that potato pancake!
My daughter enjoyed a deli sandwich piled high with salami. This was quite the treat! Max and Benny's is known for its corned beef and pastrami--so worthy of a try!

Deli sandwich at Max and Bennys
Now that's a sandwich!
Of course, we had to have a dessert! We chose a mini chocolate cream pie with homemade crust and whipped cream. We split it among ourselves and it was the perfect sweet cap on our visit. When the crust and whipped cream are homemade, you can definitely tell the difference! So many restaurants don't make their own desserts these days. It is refreshing that Max and Benny's still makes their own desserts and they are delightfully from scratch!

Chocolate Cream Pie from Max and Bennys
Yummy chocolate cream pie made from scratch!
Max and Benny's has long been a family favorite and has been serving some of the same families for years! If you are looking for a family meal with a menu that has something for everyone, Max and Benny's fits the bill. The from scratch cooking and family setting does give you that warm, comfortable feel just like sitting and enjoying some of Mom's own Mish Mosh Soup--without your family making a fuss! With its focus on family, Max and Benny's has made dining easier by offering carry out, online ordering and even items ready to go in the deli. Whatever your reason for visiting, please don't forget to visit the bakery even for just a peek! Amazing!

Max and Benny's is located at 461 Waukegan Road in Northbrook.

Disclosure: Thank you to Max and Benny's for accommodating our visit. We did receive a complimentary meal in order to bring you this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Max and Bennys cakes
Cakes in the bakery

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