>> Mile End Delicatessen | Eat the World New York City

05 January 2011

Mile End Delicatessen

QUÉBEC CANADA


Mile End Delicatessen certainly hit the ground running when it came to Brooklyn. It generated the right amount of hype before opening and then got mostly good press. Ever since, it has been a popular place and people wait for the four small tables and counter space for hours sometimes. My expectations were probably around medium, but I was very satisfied on my visits.


In cold weather, the places is cozy and has some nice hot beverages to choose from. Stumptown Coffee is $2 and mulled apple cider is $3. The environment is very crowded, but somehow the place does not feel stuffy, the tables are large and there is plenty of legroom. No one rushes you when you finish.

They get their bagels from Montréal, and apparently this is a big thing, but to be honest I never heard anyone talk about bagels in that city despite many trips. There must be a niche. The bagels are good, but I guess I still prefer my puffy and sweet New York style. Add the smoked whitefish salad ($9, below) to one though, and it does not matter if the bagel came from the freezer section. This salad is amazing, the fish combined with celery, chives, and asparagus, minus the mayonaise.



Be sure to get a pickle ($1.50, above) to the table as well!

The smoked meat is one of the big reasons to come here, so on the breakfast side of the menu, be sure to try the smoked meat hash ($10, below) during weekends. The delectable pulled pieces of meat are layered on top of very well-cooked potato cubes and then covered with eggs, a dish that could compete for my heart with regular corned beef hash.


Also using the smoked meat as a centerpiece and more of a Québécois specialty is the poutine ($11 with meat, below), the best rendition of the dish I have had here in New York. For me the most important part is the cheese curds, and these are excellent. Combined with a generous helping of fries and delicious gravy, this will always be a favorite.


As any deli should, Mile End also has some sandwiches named after people. The Ruth Wilensky ($7, below) is tasty enough, but actually is better on paper. The toasted onion roll is very good, but its contents have a hard time standing next to the other dishes. This would be a good quick takeout lunch though maybe.



Baked desserts probably vary each day, but on one visit we tried the twice baked challah ($4, above) which we had termed "junk on toast" before we knew what it was. It came with lingonberries which combined with the almond topping to really melt in your mouth. While you might not feel like you are in Montréal, apart from the waitress's Canadiens jersey, Mile End is a successful place and keeps its food at a very good price point. It is no wonder that people will wait for a seat.

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