Wilensky’s is sort of an institution in the Mile End. Family-owned since its opening in 1932, the place is famous for its extremely cheap snacks, no-nonsense approach, and retro decor. Pressed tin ceiling, Kik Cola clock, ring-up cash register, old-fashioned soda fountain—this place sometimes feels like a time warp or, at the very least, a museum.
Perhaps what makes Wilensky’s so special is, incidentally, the Special ($3.90): “All-beef salami with all-beef baloney grilled to mouth-watering perfection on a tasty roll with a hint of mustard.”
But don’t try to change anything in it—the owner, Ruth, will not have it. The Special is what it is, and no amount of money will make Ruth change it. Hell, she even wrote a poem about it:
When ordering a Special,
you should know a thing or two.
It is always served with mustard;
it is never cut in two.
Don’t ask us why; just understand
that this is nothing new.
This is the way that it’s been done
Amen to that.