When we here at Seamless HQ found out that Mile End establishments would be joining the awesome selection of Seamless restaurants, we could not contain our excitement. Mile End Sandwiches in Manhattan and Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn have been huge hits among the ever-competitive NYC dining scene. Taking traditional Jewish Deli and moving it forward with a modern and delicious spin, the crew at Mile End knows what they are doing. We took a minute to sit down and chat with co-owner Rae Bernamoff about how they got their start and their delicious food. Check it out:
Seamless: New York and Jewish Deli are a match made in food heaven. What inspired the creation of Mile End?
Rae: Jewish Deli is a classic New York food, but when Noah and I moved here from Montreal we recognized that a new deli hadn’t opened in a long while. The recipe for our signature smoked meat was actually developed as a hobby; Noah was uninspired by law school and missed the deli foods of his hometown Montreal. We knew New Yorkers had a passion for cured meats of all kinds, and decided to bring our brisket to market out of a tiny storefront in Boerum Hill. After 2 years of serving customers from near and far we decided to expand with a Sandwich Shop on Bond Street in NoHo.
S: What are some of the favorite special offerings on the Mile End menu?
R: The cured and smoked beef brisket is definitely our most popular offering, but really each item on our small menu is special as it’s all made in house from scratch – everything from the hot dogs and buns to pickles and condiments. We love that some customers think of us as their bagel shop while others consider us the poutine place or their favorite chicken soup spot when under the weather.
We just started baking bagels in house, and The Beauty with cream cheese, lox, tomato, onion and caper is a favorite way to start the morning. The Mish Mash sandwich is the perfect way to extend breakfast all day: eggs scrambled with our all beef hot dog, salami and caramelized onions, all tucked into an onion roll.
S: Mile End is pretty unique with both a smokehouse and a Jewish Bakery. What goes into making the ideal Jewish Deli sandwich all the way from the bread to the fixings?
R: We pride ourselves on preparing every component in house. The smoked meat sandwich for instance is a two week process from start to finish: we cure the briskets for 12 days, then after a rinse apply a dry rub and smoke over oak for 8 hours. The sandwich is simple: just a schmear of mustard on our hearty house-baked rye. Other sandwiches are more complex. For the chicken salad we pickle peppers and cucumbers, boil the chicken and then use the rendered schmaltz to toast the challah and the crispy skin or gribenes to add crunch.
S: How did you and Noah, authors of The Mile End Cookbook, pick just 100 recipes to be featured?
R: It was tough to narrow down the recipes to only 100. When we started making a list of the highlights from our menu we realized just how many recipes we’d developed over the years. The Mile End Cookbook is a collection of Jewish comfort food and presents our favorite dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We divided the book into 2 sections so that the more complex building blocks like lox and salami fall into the DIY Deli and the more approachable dishes are in the second half To the Table. This way readers can still enjoy the mish mash at home with a store bought salami if they’re not ready to take the leap in making their own.
S: The Jewish Holidays must be a busy time for Mile End. What’s the favorite dish prepared for delivery during the season?
R: Our chicken soup with mazto ball is a favorite year round, but it’s especially popular around the holidays. It’s one of those classic dishes that is just as satisfying on the holiday table as it is on a rainy afternoon.
To check out Mile End for yourself, order online from Mile End in Manhattan or Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn!