What could be better than a hot corned beef between slabs of chewy rye, the pink meat glistening with fat and packing enough sodium to make Michael Bloomberg turn a redder shade of pale? Nothing. But smoked meat, a delicacy I first encountered at Ben’s, a Jewish deli in Montreal, comes close.
The parallels between smoked meat and corned beef are inescapable. Both start with beef brisket, both end in a sandwich that is deeply
satisfying. Yet, the differences are palpable as well, making smoked meat a must for true deli lovers.
The good news (if it is good news—I love Montreal and welcome any excuse to visit) is that you no longer have to drive up the Northway to satisfy your smoked meat urges. A new Montreal-style restaurant has opened in downtown Brooklyn that brings to the Apple the edible treats of its native turf, including tortière, the famous Québécoise pork pie, and the vaunted deli meat. (The owners have also brought with them a supply of St. Viateur bagels, which borders on sacrilege, but this minor lapse is to be forgiven.)
The name of the restaurant is Mile End, and it has already created quite a stir. For a period shortly after its opening last winter, the kitchen was running out of food before the end of lunch, so high was the demand. That wrinkle has since been ironed out, meaning that smoked meat is likely to be there when you want it—and at a pretty fair price: $9 for a sandwich piled high with 7 ounces of the smoky goodness. Mile End is located at 97A Hoyt Street, bet Atlantic Ave and Pacific St, Brooklyn, 718-852-7510.
Trivial Pursuit Meets Buzz
The month of July has been declared Good Beer Month. In observance of the occasion, the Brooklyn-based food magazine Edible Brooklyn has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery to host a game of Edible Pursuit: Beer Edition. The questions, which will test players’ knowledge of all things suds, will take place at the brewery this coming Thursday, July 8, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The game is open to six-player teams. Prizes will include cookbooks, coasters, artisanal pickles, restaurant gift certificates, and of course beer. Tickets, which can be purchased here, are $20. In addition to guaranteeing you a shot at the prizes, the cover charge buys you two beers, a gift pint glass, and a sausage sandwich grilled by the butchers at The Meat Hook. Will contestants be forced to chug if they answer a question incorrectly? One can only hope. The Brooklyn Brewery is located at 79 North 11th Street, bet Wythe Ave and Berry St, Brooklyn.
52% Off a Mexican Classic
The year was 1983. The place was New York City. The person was a young, energetic cook by the name of Zarela Martínez. Her mission was to demonstrate to New Yorkers, as she had done previously in El Paso, that there was more to Mexican cuisine than enchiladas and burritos. The lesson took, and other “authentic” Mexican restaurants followed, most notable among them Rosa Mexicano, which opened a year after Zarela’s arrival.
What has happened since then is that Rosa Mexicano has gone on to become a national chain of sorts, while Zarela has chugged quietly along. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know the restaurant was still in business until word of a deal from InBundles arrived in my email box. The deal, which is valid through the end of today, will buy you $25 worth of food at Zarela for $12, which works out to approximately half off a main course. I can attest to the restaurant’s having been good once, but that was 20 years ago, another lifetime practically. Is Zarela still worth the salt on your margarita glass? It’ll cost you all of $12 to find out. Zarela is located at 953 Second Avenue, bet 50th and 52st Sts, 212-644-6740.
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