My neighborhood. http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/2015...ateries-that-have-withstood-the-test-of-time/ By Jerry Del Priore There’s something to be said for food establishments that have withstood the test of time. With places seemingly opening one day, and closing the next, Bensonhurst has a large number of fantastic Italian food establishments that have been around for years, surviving and thriving through the of toughest of times. So get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a delectable cannoli or a savory slice – perhaps even a little pasta or an Italian Hero. Mangia. 1. Villabate Alba 7001 18th Avenue Since 1979, the Alaimo family has been bringing the finest authentic Sicilian pastries, cookies, cakes, and breads to the good people of Bensonhurst and beyond. In fact, Villabate Alba has arguably the best cannoli – stuffed with sheep’s milk imported from Sicily to make the ricotta cream filling – in the city. “Two to three hundred are sold daily from Monday to Thursday, and four to six hundred from Friday to Sunday,” said Anthony Alaimo, who, along with other family members, has taken over full-time operational responsibilities from his dad, Emanuele. Previously located on 72nd Street and 18th Avenue, Villabate Alba moved to its present digs at 7001 18th Avenue – the former site of Alba Bakery, a neighborhood institution since 1935 – in 2007 to serve a larger cliental. The Alaimos decided to keep the Alba name on the sign out of respect for the previous owner, Alaimo noted, and combined it with Villabate, the name of their hometown in Sicily, Italy. 2. John’s Deli 2033 Stillwell Avenue For true Brooklynites, John’s Deli, in operation for over 45 years, is the place to go for a mouthwatering Italian hero. John’s Deli, with the elevated D train hovering above in the background, is like a trip back in time. First, if you leave a tip, don’t be surprised when the workers yell, “Thank You, Subway.” It’s to commemorate when, in the 20s and 30s, the subway fare was a nickel, and people would generously tip local retail workers so they get home. It was later revived at John’s in the 60s and 70s by a costumer, who informed then-owner John of the custom. Secondly, it’s not for appearance, but the food is legendary. Its signature roast beef – smothered with mozzarella, sautéed onions and John’s Deli’s secret, special gravy – has been referred to by its loyal customers as the best they’ve ever tasted, bar none. I also love the Godfather, which boasts five different hardy meats with a variety of cheeses. This sandwich is so unbelievably appetizing that you won’t be able to refuse it (pun intended). The fried chicken cutlet with broccoli rabe and mozzarella and the chicken parm heroes are other lip-smacking options, as are the meatballs, fried ravioli and rice balls – stuffed with ham and cheese. Fuggettaboutit!