Located in The Dude Hotel (Brooklyn Beef Club and its €85 hamburger flank the other side) Schmidt’s offers a limited menu, but one that boasts two deli staples: the Reuben and the chicken club, alongside a larger selection of toasts and croques. It is, frankly, too clean for a deli experience, and as minimalist as the menu, with just a few tall cafeteria tables for restaurant goers – though hotel guests could sit at rest on the other side of the grill, which is a bit too low for proper scraping.
The trimmings are minimal – no pickles, no fries, a bit of coleslaw on the side – but the kraut on the Reuben (€8) was tangy, if the pastrami a bit dry. The chicken in the club (€8) had a nice chewiness, though it was somewhat salty, while the bacon suffered from the usual German problem – under-crisped for US palates.
They also serve a lemon “merengue” cake (curiously, not pie) for €4 that is creamy and lemony, somewhat like a tart (though not tart enough), and the meringue wasn’t baked. Such small problems are more than made up for by the beer: it’s one of the few venues where one can buy a Brooklyn Lager, America’s finest mass-produced brand. If only all NY delis carried it.