When we interviewed Noah Bernamoff back in February, we found the man to be a font of opinions, be they about schmaltz or the guy down the road claiming to make Montreal bagels. Over at Nona Brooklyn, there’s a new interview with the Mile End owner, and it is similarly forthright.
Once again addressing the subject of Montreal bagels — specifically the ones Mile End imports from St-Viateur — Bernamoff has this to say:
“Montreal is 375 miles from here, and I know a lot of people think we’re a bunch of hypocrites — they talk about sourcing locally, and what’s wrong with the bagels in New York? First of all, it’s 375 miles away — not that distant I would say compared to the avocados from Peru. No one bitches about buying avocados in February.”
Likewise, he’d prefer that certain customers stop bitching about the fact that Mile End doesn’t give away its pickles for free:
“I had to take those pickles and brine them, then I had to like let them ferment for four weeks and that takes up space and a lot of labor. I can’t just call up Mr. Pickle and say ‘Hey Mr. Pickle will you drop off seven buckets of pickles? I need them tomorrow.’ It doesn’t work that way. People think now that a deli is just this thing of convenience.”
And if you’re still not convinced, so be it:
“You don’t like it? I have nineteen seats, you don’t have to come. You want pickles on the table because you just show up? No problem, go to Katz’s.”
Incidentally, Bernamoff is at work on those wholesaling plans he hinted at in February. The “end goal,” he says, “is packaging a lot of this stuff up and making it more widely available. Instead of eating Hebrew National salami or hot dogs, you could be grabbing the Mile End hot dogs.” And if you don’t like them? No problem.