By now everyone knows that Mile End is New York’s most forward-thinking delicatessen: the seasonal approach, the emphasis on sourcing high-quality ingredients, the Stumptown coffee. What’s still undersung is how much of the menu is made from scratch, from the full-sour pickles to the beef salami. And this is the rare deli these days that cures, smokes, steams, and hand-slices its own pastrami (okay, Montreal-style smoked meat) — a costly, labor-intensive task that most of the competition has all but given up on, opting to outsource from Hebrew National, say, or Empire National. The standout dishes are still the smoked meat, the Ruth Wilensky salami sandwich, and the pastrami burger, but what’s also great about Mile End is how they keep the menu fresh. A recent visit, for instance, turned up some tasty whitefish croquettes and a surprisingly good chicken shawarma platter.