Delicatessens are as much a part of New York City as the subways, taxis, and the New York Knicks struggling to have a winning season. There’s Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side, 2nd Avenue Deli on the east side, and Ben’s Deli in midtown. For a taste of deli, however, that is off the beaten path but very delicious, head to Mile End Delicatessen in the Boerum Hill neighborhood in downtown Brooklyn. Located along Hoyt Street, just a few blocks down from the Hoyt Street station and Hoyt Street Mall, this little eatery combines two unique elements under one roof: Jewish deli and French Canadian-inspired cuisine; the name “Mile End” is named after the Mile-End neighborhood in Montreal near the eponymous Mount Royal to which the city gets its name from.
The original Mile End was opened by a married couple, Noah Bernamoff (a Canadian) and Rae Cohen (a New Yorker), in Boerum Hill in early 2010, in a cramped former garage, which explains the perfectly boxy exterior. The place is retrofitted with vintage Woolworth’s-style lunch-counter stools and pharmacy lamps. Its specialty is a Quebec staple: smoked meat. This succulent treat falls somewhere between pastrami and corned beef and is a favorite among sandwich loving Canucks. It has the perfect blend of spice, juiciness, and just the right amount of oil that makes it not too greasy. From the Jewish side of the culinary world, a fair amount of their sandwiches and sides are made with gribenes, which are chicken skin cracklins, and schmaltz, which is chicken grease that is used like mayo or lard; it is used to grease the challah bread and used to grease the griddle as well. Oy ve!
All this week, from February 13 thru February 19, swing by Mile End Deli for Poutine Week. It wouldn’t be a Canadian eatery without one of Canada’s greatest gastronomic contributions: poutine. This wonderful hodge-podge of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds is as much a part of Canada as ice hockey, Rush, and aspiring comedy writers. A native dish of Quebec that is a marvelous comfort food which Mile End Deli takes to a whole new level. For the traditional, try a poutine smothered in shredded duck confit that pays homage to Quebec. For the decadent, dig in to the corn dog poutine (you’re gonna wanna bring a friend to help you polish it off!). There’s the Italian-style caprese which takes fries smothered in spicy tomato sauce and seasoned cherry tomatoes. I highly recommend the German-style bratwurst that comes with tater tots smothered in beer cheese gravy. Lastly, there’s carnivore-friendly smoked meat combo that brings forth all of Mile End Deli’s best array of meats under a bed of cheese curds and gravy. These are all amazing, but they’re only here for a limited time!
MILE END DELICATESSEN (Brooklyn)
97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Ride the 2 or 3 train to Hoyt Street and walk down Hoyt Street to the corner of Atlantic Av.
MILE END DELICATESSEN (Manhattan)
53 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Ride the 6 train to Bleecker Street. Walk up Bleecker Street to Bond Street and then walk east.