A musician's passions can't always be satisfied in the studio -- Russell Simmons started Phat Farm because of his fascination with fashion and global issues, and Sammy Hagar created Cabo Wabo because of his fascination with drinking and drinking. From a rocker whose chops extend to chops, Mile End.
Stuffing its white-walled nook with reclaimed bowling lane benches/tables, plus a counter lined w/ salvaged Woolworth's diner stools, Mile's a gustatory homage to Montreal's apparently-famed Jewish delis; the Canuck behind the caboodle's a former bassist who spent all his time between gigs firing up his Weber, likely to avoid Geddy Lee's whiny pleading to come over and play pogs. Known only as "smoked meat", the house specialty's a slab of Creekstone brisket, heavily spiced and cured for days (a la pastrami), punched up by a 10-hour smoker stint, and thrown in a steamer for good measure; the finished product's then hand-cut, piled between Orwasher's rye, and plated w/ full sour pickle and house-blended mustard that subs beer for water, suggesting the true pickle is you. Turkeys from Murray's get similar treatment, while other noshes include house-brined cabbage and spicy tomatillos; proper poutine made with Maine curds and drizzled-not-drowned with fresh-cooked gravy; and salami (also in-house) pressed into an onion roll that comes w/ mustard unless you pay a 10 cent charge to skip it (for a quarter they'll agree not to make your sandwich at all).
For those who may die before lunch, ME's flying in bagels from Quebec's St. Viateur and making their own Alaskan king salmon lox, plus stuffing breakfast sammys with the likes of egg, cheese, and smoked pork belly "chazzer", a phattening affair that'll make it easy for your girlfriend to tell why this can't be love.
1. Mile End
97A Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
This deli serves smoked meats and Montreal-style bagels in the heart of Brooklyn, and has been doing so since 2010. The menu features several Jewish favorites, and you can even get gravy-drizzled poutine here as well. Try the poutine-- this glorious, gravy-smothered dish already nabs the title as the greatest Canadian export known to mankind (sorry, maple syrup), but Montreal native Noah Bernamoff takes the dish up an extra notch by adding cheddar cheese curds from Maine’s Silvery Moon Creamery and Mile End’s signature smoked meat.