BY: Joan Ginsberg, United Meat & Deli marketing specialist
Imagine what it was like eating from a pushcart at the early part of the last century. The food wasn’t fancy or trendy, but it was all fresh and made by the vendor with local ingredients.
It was that type of food delivery system that Noah Bernamoff envisioned when he opened his Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, New York. Indeed, the pushcart analogy is his own.
Today’s foodie would say that Mile End is an artisanal deli, a word that by itself is so trendy and overused it doesn’t quite capture the eating experience that Noah and his partner Max Levine are aiming for.
Whatever you call it, Mile End delivers excellent deli food, focusing on Canadian specialties like smoked meat and poutine. Noah is a Montreal native.
Sy and I paid a visit to Mile End last week, to get a taste of the differences between smoked meat and the American alternative of pastrami.
Their menu is deliberately simple, to avoid those trendy things like special salads. Even though it’s New York, they don’t have grouchy deli men shouting at each other and the customers. They have smart and attentive waitstaff that couldn’t have been more pleasant.
It’s still a Jewish deli, so chicken matzo ball soup is in evidence.
Their signature item is a smoked meat sandwich, with red cabbage slaw and pickles as a perfect accompaniment. Mile End has their own commissary where they cure their own meats, and make all of their breads and baked goods.
The sandwich was split between me and Sy, so there would be room for poutine.
Their hot dog was delicious! Sy had to be physically stopped in the middle of eating it long enough to get a picture.
It’s a shame that there are no pictures of their house-made mandelbrot (Jewish almond cookie) or rugelach, which were equally delicious, and are the type of Jewish deli item that is hard to find made in-house. Sy and I agreed that the mandelbrot was the best we had eaten. Ever.
We support delis like Mile End, even when they don’t buy or use our corned beef, salami, or pastrami, because they keep the Jewish food culture alive and well. Est gezunterhayt!