So, everybody's talking about Mile End (97A Hoyt Street, between Atlantic Ave. and Pacific St., 718-852-7510), the new Montreal-style deli in Boerum Hill that sells bagels driven down from Montreal every Friday, and in-house smoked and cured meat. Um, really? 100 bagels catch a ride from 450 miles away every week and people actually buy them for $3 a pop? I'm sorry to be such a stinker about the whole thing, but that really makes me raise one of my eyebrows in questionable disdain. I went over there recently to see what all the hype is about.
The space is -small-. Three or four tables and a counter with as many stools cram the space - outside which crowds wait on the weekends. The staff is super friendly and I felt welcomed, always a nice thing when going into a new place for the first time. They were out of the Ruth Wilensky (salami pressed on an onion roll), so I ordered the Smoked Meat Sandwich (all of the meat, fish & vegetables are house pickled, cured, and smoked using local, pastured, line-caught & sustainable ingredients whenever possible). Two slices of soft, pillowy Rye bread contain a large pile of the fatty, smoked meat. Mustard is smeared on the bread to provide some bite.
It was a big sandwich, but not ridiculously so, and at first I thought I'd only eat half, but it was so tasty I ended up polishing it off in one sitting. But soon, my stomach made me regret my decision. I have a pretty steely stomach, too, so I'm not sure what this says about this sandwich. I don't think the meat was bad, it just ended up hurting! I just don't get the rabid following Mile End has already established within a few short months time. The menu is so small, and what's on it is slightly different versions of the same thing, so it feels even smaller. I do hope they succeed, maybe they can add a veggie option to the sandwiches, and maybe they can find a better way to deal with that bagel situation!