OMG! Beef on Weck at Mile End Sandwich
It's something of a black eye that New Yorker City dwellers have never quite figured out how to make a beef on weck sandwich until now. Mainly because it's a particular specialty of our sister metropolis of Buffalo, New York--both cities lie on opposite extremes of the state like book ends, and we should have taken to the sandwich as avidly as we did to buffalo chicken wings.
A killer version surfaced today at Mile End Sandwich, a newly opened Manhattan spin-off of Mile End, a Montreal-style Jewish deli just south of downtown Brooklyn. The forerunner specializes in the pastrami surrogate called smoked mean, and the Bond Street location carries on that and several other sandwiches from the original locations. Fans of the Ruth Wilensky the breakfast sandwich on a Montreal bagel will find them ably reproduced.
But the new menu adds several other satisfying sandwich oddities, and one of the amazing ones is a perfect beef on weck, featuring a pretzel-like roll dotted with carraway and flakes of fancy sea salt piled with thinly sliced and still-warm roast beef. Horseradish adds an important flavor note, and the sandwich is simply the best roast beef sandwich--upstate styling aside--I have had in years. It's what Arby's might have been, only better.
Fork in the Road tried the pickled veal tongue, which has ancestral connections to pickled veal tongues at Au Pied de Cochon and its many progeny (including our own M. Wells). The sandwich depends on very dark pumpernickel with yellow raisin marmalade and on onions sweet enough to stand up to the tongue's picking.
A plate of pickled vegetables forms a nice alternative to fries and is profuse enough that you can share it with a friend. Of the vegetables depicted, the best were the mushrooms, asparagus, and beets.
On the other hand, how can you resist ordering the smoked meat poutine?
Mile End Sandwich
53 Bond Street
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