This week, I was astounded to have two of the greatest sandwiches of my life. Less surprisingly, they came from two of my favorite sandwich joints. First up: Mile End Sandwich, the new Manhattan (Bond and Bowery) quick casual extension of the Boerum Hill, Brooklyn homage to Schwartz’s Deli (or Charcuterie Hebraique as they say in Montreal). I reviewed them when they first opened.
The menu at Mile End Sandwich is truly daunting and I’m still working my way through it after having the Wilensky fried salami, the Kobe beef on weck (for those who think the only thing to eat in Buffalo are wings) and, of course, the unique to New York City deli smoked meat.
But my inside tip is to go in at 10:30 a.m. before any of the foregoing sandwiches are available and order from the breakfast menu. You could have a St. Viateur bagel with lox and schmear if you prefer the smaller, sweeter Montreal bagel variety. Or you could have the definitely non-kosher “Breakfast Sandwich” consisting of slab bacon strips with fried eggs and Quebec cheddar cheese on house-made rye bread. Though sporting a boring, non-descriptive, generic name, the Breakfast Sandwich, standing alone, would otherwise be the greatest breakfast sandwich in New York City. But Mile End didn’t stop there. The “Breakfast Burger”, named for its veal sausage pattie and topped with an over-easy egg, cheddar, apple butter, and maple syrup on a gargantuan English (Canadian?) muffin reduced me to uncontrollable sobs of joy and ruined every other breakfast I’ve ever had or will ever have.
The only way to describe the veal “burger” is to recall two other delectable creations: the Eggo foie gras creation at Earl’s Beer and Cheese, described earlier by me and the meatball parm hero from Torrisi/Parm, which Mile End has already drawn comparisons to.
Speaking of Parm, while I could’ve died happy this week if only with the Mile End Breakfast Burger, it just so happened that I had lunch this week at Parm. I was also on the scene when Parm first opened, and it’s only gotten better, if that’s possible. Parm already has not one but three sandwiches that have secured their inclusion in the Sandwich Hall of Fame: their chicken parm, their home made roast turkey, and their meatball parm. So when the waitress said they had a new sandwich special, which she called a pork chop with provolone cheese, I was shaking with anticipation.
I had asked Rich Torrisi when they first opened why they had not included a pork braciole on the menu after revolutionizing every other Italian American staple (mozzarella sticks, sausage and peppers, calamari, baked clams) and being responsible for resurrecting the Feast of San Gennaro. He said it was too difficult to control the quality required for a braciole. But one bite of the thinly sliced boneless pork with melted provolone and translucent red and green peppers and onions, and I was right back at the Italian festival which happens to wind its way down Mulberry Street each September right outside Parm’s and Torrisi’s front doors. Parm, you’ve done it again.
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