Soon after they opened in 2010, Brooklyn's Mile End Delicatessen earned an intense, Momofukian following for Montreal-style smoked brisket sandwiches and other awesome things from Canada — poutine, ice-cold cans of Labatt Blue, pre-helmet-era Canadiens photos lining the bathroom. Over a short four-year period owners Noah and Rae Bernamoff have expanded to open a second location in Manhattan, wrote a cookbook (The Mile End Cookbook) and bravely entered the New York City bagel game with their Elizabeth Street shop Black Seed.
But, as anybody who has dined at Mile End will tell you, Mile End is not simply a deli from the Great White North. Their Hoyt Street location in Boerum Hill has spread its culinary wings, led by the sick-talented chef Eli Sussman (read our interview). Recent menu items have included border-defying dishes like fried corn with schmaltz, togarashia and gribenes and a crispy latke laced with botargo. And can we talk about Sussman’s cold dan dan noodles with long beans? They're a menu fixture originally conveived for the restaurant’s long-running Sunday Chinese menu (a weekly rotating menu that zigzags around the Mainland).
But, as anybody who has dined at Mile End will tell you, the smoked meat is still the number one stunna that people will travel many miles and subway lines to enjoy. So what's it all about? Briskets are dry-cured (translation: rubbed) with a mixture of curing salt, garlic and spices — and then set aside in the walk-in for almost two weeks. The well-cured cuts are then smoked over hardwood for 12 hours, then cooled and refrigerated for an additional week. These are rough, back-of-the-napkin estimates. We haven’t had the guts to ask Noah for his secrets. How does it taste? Good, very good. The result of the almost monthlong preperation is a deeply satisfying, more-smoke, less-salt union we crave every time we walk in the vicinity of either location.
Alright, to the grand reveal. Drum roll…you can now, finally, order Mile End smoked meat to be shipped directly to your door. In a partnership with Foody Direct, and timed perfectly for the upcoming Jewish holidays, orders both big and bigger can be placed here. For the less formal affair (or maybe a gift) the sandwich kit might be the move. If you’re into just the meat, you can score a 5-pound brisket (in either “full” or “lean” cut) for $199. What’s the difference? According to the Foody Direct website:
A brisket is comprised of two types of meat: the “flat”— also called the first cut, which is typically all you get when you get a brisket at the supermarket — and the fattier (and of course, juicier) deckle, sometimes called the “point.” In a whole brisket, the flat that runs at a shallow diagonal through the cut, creating two tapered lobes. If you order the FULL CUT, you will get a piece of smoked meat comprised of both the flat (the lean cut) and the point (the fatty cut). If you select LEAN, you will get all first-cut (the “flat”). We recommend the FULL CUT for the ultimate Smoked Meat experience.
Brisket and fixings are shipped by either UPS Ground (1 day) for sections of the Northeast and Next Day Air Saver for the rest of the Lower 48. Sorry international brisket lovers, you’ll just have to book a trip to Brooklyn sometime really soon.