Mile End delivers that culinary knockout-punch that so many New Yorkers crave but rarely get: Something superb yet unique in the foodies’ paradise that is this great city.
That’s because the particular strain of Judaic fare filtered through the Canadian regional dialect which it plies is just plain hard to come by. (Apparently, its Montreal, specifically.) Sure, in NYC you got yer Katzes and yer Carnegies and a whole nother’ legion of storied Jewish delis with their famous corned beef juggernauts… but they’re not working on quite the same canvas.
No, Mile End features luscious cured meats and an extravagantly decadent take on poutine (basically high-end French fries buried in high-end cheese) that for this diner, had a peculiar whiff of old school Heebery, the flavor of far-off Ashkenazi Judaism transported from some dusty, soulful past straight into modern-day Brooklyn. As far as bygone semitic cookery goes, it’s more Berlin than LES, a big part of its novel charm.
SuperDuperKid is a big meat fan and (duh) also a fan of fries but as my fellow parents know, one slight nudge of a foreign flavor, one touch of sophistication and it can mean game over when it comes to the fragile eating habits of the young.
But helped along by the “micro-brewed” Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream sodas, he dove into the meaty fare with gusto that he maintained until the meal’s end.
Although there’s a tad of a possibility that a kid could be turned off by the novelty of it, chances are the sheer meat n’ potatoes power of it all will triumph in the end.
When you’re ready for a break from the burgers or mac n’ cheese and you’re in the mood for something a little different, try a taste of Jewish Montreal!
Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: Oy vey, I mean, Oy YAY!
Details: Mile End is SMALL and gets crowded quickly. It’s also closed from 4pm-5:30 every day, presumably to change over from the breakfast to dinner format. I often joke to my son that his super-anal Step-Granpa could be abducted by terrorists, tied in heavy chains and tossed into the East River and he’d still somehow make it to his impending appointment 10 minutes early. Step-Gramps had us standing in front of the place at 5:10 sharp and it worked out pretty good, with us lined up for 15 minutes or so before being among the first to be seated. Bring someone punctual and anal, it works out well in this case!