How to Feel Home Away From Home in New York City

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New York City is a great place to escape past national identities but also where you can cling onto old ones. For travelers and expatriates there are certain addresses that provide convenient placeholders for cultures too far away to visit on a regular basis.

“La Belle Province” Brooklyn style

Montreal Comes to Brooklyn

Friends and acquaintances who are sick of hearing me extol the virtues of Montreal bagels, smoked meat, and (for readers of my previous posts) poutine, can now take heart. All those things that make me pine nostalgically for my French-speaking homeland are now available for the price of a ride on the G Train in Brooklyn. Mile End is a little deli in the fashionable, trendy Boerum Hill neighborhood named after a trendy, fashionable Montreal neighborhood. Their menu is a greatest hits of local favorites: The “mish-mash” is a nod to legendary West-End diner Cosmos and its cook’s tour dish of eggs, starch and breakfast meats – Mile End’s version comes with salami or lox.

“The Beauty” is a breakfast bagel plate named after Beauty’s, one of the city’s original brunch destinations and there’s the Ruth Willensky. The pressed beef salami classic honors the matriarch of one of the most iconic lunch counters in Canada (a childhood favorite of Mile End’s most famous resident, writer Mordechai Richler.) The Ruth Willensky sandwich is an eerily reminiscent echo of the original and is highly recommended whether you’ve ever set foot above the 49th parallel. Mile End isn’t just some sort of nostalgic culinary cover band, though, and has original creations that are rave-worthy too. Its take on Montreal’s famous smoked meat might even trump the original and they make the best poutine I’ve ever had this side of Chicoutimi. Diehards and neophytes alike will appreciate the authentic shipped-from-the-homeland bagels and little touches like the brasserie-style soap dispenser and Labatt Bleue beer. Then there are the vintage photos of Montreal Canadiens hockey players, prompting my friend to say, “you should go see the bathroom, it might make you cry”. Homesick Montrealers will know what she means.

Schwartz’s eat your heart out

A Korean Mainstay in Midtown

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