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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Painful strife of a sandwich eater

GO TRIAD -- The Reuben sandwich is not for everybody. Most things with sauerkraut are like that.

However, there is a right way and a wrong way to make a Reuben. During the summer I worked at a deli, where my manager, a Chicago native of Polish descent, introduced me to the right way: big and messy. The sandwich should consist of mounds of sauerkraut atop a steaming hot pile of corned beef, literally smothered in Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. The wrong way is anything else.

That deli, Cloud Nine Cafe, is the only place in Greensboro I've been able to find a decent Reuben.

Thus, I began my search for another suitable eatery in town that could measure up.

Full column here

I got a lot of email about this column today. Most people were suggesting tiny little hole-in-the-wall places around the Triad where I could find a decent Reuben; a few were just happy with the column; and only one was unpleased, but he was unpleased in the way that makes putting my mugshot next to the column a questionable move.

But then there was this email, which is the best letter I've ever gotten.

From: "xxxxxxxxxxxx"
To: triadcheapeats@yahoo.com
Subject: Thank goodness someone has finally brought our plight out into the public


I remember my first Reuben sandwich as if it were yesterday. My parents had taken my sister and I to a new restaurant in Florida called "Bennigans". My family being of the "Southern Baptist" persuasion rarely ate in places that served beer, and never took the kids to such sin holes, but we were eating out with another new family, and they chose.
I saw Reuben on the menu. I had never had corned beef, and didn't like Rye bread, but I was in a fancy place, I was going to eat a sophisticated sandwich. There are three magical moments in my life. My son was born, my wedding, and that sandwich.

Long story short, I made it a habit to order a Reuben everywhere I went. The last few times I ordered one in Greensboro, I got one fried lump of meat that all came out on the first bite, leaving you to scarf down a scalding hot, rubbery bit of pink flesh like a dog eating scraps, and then lingering over lonely rye and Sauerkraut.
Since then if I get bad Reuben vibes, I go for my second option "The
Cuban". (A buddy worked at a Cuban sammich shop in FL. They had like three things on the menu. There was always a line. The owner drove to Ybor city every day for fresh Cuban bread, Guava pastries, and we suspect weed.)

Please let me know if you find a good Reuben. I mostly go to Ham's, and like most things at Ham's, it is hit or miss. Right now my fave in town is the Cuban sandwich roll at Roly Poly.

You are an inspiration to all of us.

Xxxxxxx Xxxxxx

P.S. May Jared the Subway guy rot in hell.

Best. Email. Ever. Aside from inflating my ego, three things I liked here:
1. He shares my almost excessive love of the Reuben.
2. He said "sammich."
2. Screw Jared and everyone who looks like Jared.


Blogger Brook Taylor said...

...And let's not forget that this guy counts his first Reuben sandwich as one of his three magical moments in life. Ha.

12/01/2006 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Killian said...

I dig the Carolina Deli - but I cen't remember whether the Reuben there is any good.

Tell us about the novel, already.

12/01/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Luke McIntyre said...

Ah yes, the novel. That story will come. As will the story about the story, which is much more interesting.

12/01/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger C. L. Lowrance said...

Screw the novel, who got pissed at you over a column about a sandwich?

12/01/2006 09:58:00 PM  

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