Meat, skin, and fat: Mile End sandwich is a decadent delight

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It is, amazingly, a chicken salad sandwich to brag about.

When one of the most standard of standard sandwiches fails, it recalls soggy lunchbox meals of mayonnaise-drenched chicken salad from the supermarket. When it succeeds, it forms a light, cool and creamy sandwich, an impeccable lunch, meat and condiment together as one. A true triumph. The right combination requires restraint, a careful hand, just a little imagination and, above all else, good taste.

But where others practice restraint, Mile End Delicatessen, Boerum Hill’s temple to Montreal style Jewish food, practices excess — and it prevails. Rock tunes pump loudly from overhead. Chefs scurry to and fro in the open kitchen. Brisket to rival your Bubbe’s comes smoked and stacked high on house-made rye. Poutine, the Canadian dish of French fries, gets a veritable drenching in gravy and cheese curds.

And the chicken salad sandwich, robust and flavorful, is the unsung hero of the delicatessen’s lunch menu. It’s the most decadent, and most delicious in Brooklyn.

Mile End practices a whole-chicken approach to the sandwich, so to speak.

Chicken meat is mixed with mayonnaise, parsley and scallions and hits the “just right” combination of fat to flavor to meat. Chicken skin is cooked down with onions to make gribenes, Kosher pork cracklings, if you will, which is lovingly sprinkled atop the chicken salad. And schmaltz, or chicken fat, is toasted onto thick slices of eggy challah. To finish, thin slices of pickled red pepper and cucumber, gently flavored with dill, give the sandwich a little lift.

You’ll realize you’ve never had a chicken salad sandwich taken to such a level. You’ll also realize that after something this good, you’ll want it all the time.

Mile End Delicatessen [97A Hoyt St. (718) 852–7510, between Atlantic Avneue and Pacific Street,].

Will Levitt is a Brooklyn-based food writer. Follow him on Twitter @UnderEggWill

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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
not a single bad thing on the menu here. Not the healthiest stuff but you have to indulge every once and a while. Small place, not many seats and always a wait. They do take out
May 18, 2013, 8:22 am
o3 from bk says:
shouldnt ur resident whale, carmine, have reviewed this? jus sayin...
May 18, 2013, 1:03 pm
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Carmine's fat bum would never fit in there.
May 18, 2013, 2:41 pm
Jospehine from Brooklyn Hts says:
overrated and oversalted.
May 19, 2013, 2:47 am
Sunday from Bklyn says:
Not one to schlepp about the city eating the food of strangers at places like flea markets and googa mooga fests. It"s just not healthy. I know where to find this guy if I get sick. Took 3 days to finish the sandwich and I didn't get sick.
May 19, 2013, 9:14 am
Jimmy from PH says:
That was just a weird comment...
May 19, 2013, 11:16 am
joey from clinton hills says:
hey reporter, you forgot to mention how much it costs!
May 20, 2013, 9:38 am
BunnynSunny from The Hill says:
Is that really him?
May 21, 2013, 12:37 pm

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