Miller’s East Coast Deli

…even though I think I’m still full from the Astro hoagie (a towering, savoury combination of pastrami, sweet-hot mustard, melty Swiss, red onion, and tomato), I find myself craving Miller’s East Coast Deli’s latkes. I scored a bite or two of K’s when we ate there, and they were delicious: crispy on the outside and perfect when paired with applesauce.

Miller’s was her recommendation: seeing it featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives piqued her curiosity, so the four of us met early on a Sunday evening to check it out.  The deli has a simple frontage, but once through the door, we looked from the deli fridge to our right where all of the meats, fish, and cheeses are displayed, to each other and smiled: we knew we were in good hands.

Although delis have cultural cache as fast-paced places where service is effective if not friendly, I’m happy to report that the folks at Miller’s were both friendly and knowledgeable, even for diners like us, who took a minute or two to weigh the considerable menu options. Although it was hard to look past anything with pastrami, the Day After sandwich (hot turkey, stuffing, Swiss, gravy, and cranberry sauce on rye) also looked tempting, as it’s unlikely I’ll roast a Thanksgiving turkey this year.

Growing up on the Canadian prairies meant that I learned about East Coast deli food later than most, and viewed knishes as a larger, baked version of a perogy* – but am happy to be making up for lost time. Woefully, there were no knishes left at the time we visited, though in retrospect, the considerable size of my Astro and M’s pastrami Philly meant that we both took part of our sandwiches home, and might have barely dented them at all had we started with a knish or two. (For those with smaller appetites, plate sharing is easy to request, with a small $1.75 charge.)

The dessert menu looked delicious, but with take-out boxes in hand, we agreed to return another time to try out the babka, kugel, or cheesecake. Maybe next time, we’ll make like a souvenir-store magnet and eat dessert first.

(Or maybe not; that pastrami is a pretty compelling argument in and of itself.)

*Cultural Note: “perogy” is how I grew up spelling pierogi/pyrohy (it appears to be a regional choice most commonly used in Alberta), where they’re an immensely popular food (and mascot at occasional sporting events.)

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