The team at Mile End has done an impressive job of soldiering on after having their entire production kitchen wiped out during Sandy, but until last week, smoked meat was been notably absent from the menu. This is for a very good, tiring-to-even-think-about reason.
Apparently, while they’ve managed to move production for other menu items to nearby locations including the Meat Hook and Fleisher’s, co-owner Noah Bernamoff has spent the past few weeks personally smoking 1,400 pounds of meat at friend (and Fliesher’s owner) Josh Applestone’s butcher shop upstate. He then cured it for 12 days, soaked it for a full day, “re-rubbed it with a spice mixture,” and smoked it some more.
As such (and because, as he told Eater NY, asking for donations via Kickstarter is “not [his] jam”), smoked meat sandwiches are currently going for $14 instead of the usual $12, which sounds pretty measured and appropriate but has a few customers pissed. “It’s like, I’m breaking my back to keep this running despite how shitty our situation has been recently,” said Bernamoff. “And someone cares so much to sit down and write some Facebook message about a sandwich they had that was maybe $1 to $2 more expensive.? I’m not putting a gun to anyone’s head. If you don’t like the price of the smoked meat, don’t order it.”
I would object that on numerous occasions I have, in fact, been personally forced to buy and eat smoked meat at gunpoint, but whatever. We wish them well and a speedy recovery for the prep kitchen’s “near endless list” of repairs. Maybe let’s all buy a sandwich this week.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.