Of all of the Kosher delicatessens and Kosher-style delicatessens in New York, I may have never tried 2nd Ave Deli until recently — which is arguably a legendary dining institution in the city — but I have been to Mill Basin Deli countless times; and although Yom Kippur begins at sundown tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 4, 2022, I thought I would write about my most recent experience dining at even though it basically has nothing to do with the holiday.
Review: Mill Basin Deli in Brooklyn
As with most authentic Kosher delicatessens, the appetizing counter is the first thing visitors to the restaurant see — showcasing traditional delights such as chopped liver, varieties of meats and cold cuts, assorted salads, kugels, and other items which have long been associated with Kosher cuisine.
Deciding to dine in instead of ordering to take the food out, I was seated at a table in the dining area of the restaurant, which was clean — but it definitely was not as nice as during its heyday when shortly after the space next door was acquired and the restaurant was expanded, art work hung from the walls. Then again, part of the restaurant was closed off due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic and a shortage of employees.
I ordered mostly sour pickles with one half-sour pickle. The pickles were almost excellent — one of them showed signs of once being a cucumber which was past its age or was grown in dry conditions, as evidenced by the holes — but otherwise, they were somewhat crunchy, robustly flavorful, and quite satisfying.
The pastrami was succulent and flavorful. The meat was tender — and despite being extra lean, the pastrami was not dry at all. This was a very good sandwich which I definitely enjoyed — as good as I remembered it over the years — especially with real delicatessen mustard applied on the authentic rye bread, which for me further elevated the dining experience.
I also enjoy biting a crunchy pickle with a bite of each sandwich — and yes, all of the food was served on paper plates and cardboard containers instead of real dishes and with wrapped plastic cutlery due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic and a shortage of employees.
I tried the corned beef as well, which was almost as good — if not as good — as the pastrami.
I also ordered one round potato knish and one square potato knish. Round knishes are usually baked; whereas square knishes are usually fried. I like either with the aforementioned real delicatessen mustard.
Final Boarding Call
Mill Basin Deli is located in the Mill Basin section of southern Brooklyn and will celebrate 50 years in business in 2023. It is one of the few remaining traditional Kosher delicatessens in Brooklyn; and it offers a wide variety of choices — even for people who do not want to dine on traditional Kosher food.
I enjoyed my dining experience. The food itself is not inexpensive; but it is also not as pricey as similar fare in Manhattan. The atmosphere felt a bit depressing — perhaps because I was one of only a few patrons in the restaurant; and probably because I remember Mill Basin Deli during its heyday. I did dine there during an off hour between lunch and dinner.
I highly recommend dining at Mill Basin Deli for a traditional Kosher delicatessen dining experience, as it was almost as good as the old Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen in Rego Park and 2nd Ave Deli.
May you have an easy fast for Yom Kippur tomorrow night; and may the year 5783 be the sweetest one yet. L’Shana Tova! לשנה טובה and גמר חתימה טובה
Mill Basin Deli
5823 Avenue T
Brooklyn, New York 11234
718-241-4910 or 718-241-4911
Open daily from 9:00 in the morning until 7:30 in the evening for dining in, delivery, pick up, and take out — except for Mondays, when this delicatessen is closed.
Other articles at The Gate whose topic is pastrami, corned beef, or Kosher delicatessen or food includes:
- The Continuing Decline of the Kosher Delicatessen: Why?
- How To Know If Packaged Food is Kosher
- Review: Katz’s Deli. No, Not That One…
- Did Bike Lanes Kill My Favorite Kosher Delicatessen?
- Review: 2nd Ave Deli in New York
- Review: Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen in Rego Park, New York
- Review: Shapiro’s Delicatessen and Bakery in Indianapolis
- How Delta Air Lines Forced Me to Eat at a Kosher Delicatessen (<— WARNING: Extreme “Click-Bait” Title Alert)
- Review: Hanna Orthodox Glatt Kosher Restaurant in Budapest
- What Is the Beef About Hebrew National Products Not Being Kosher?
- Kosher Food in London?
- The Worst Corned Beef Sandwich I Ever Had Was…
- Revisited: Pastrami and Corned Beef at The General Muir in Atlanta — and The Verdict Is…
All photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.