Cuban Sandwich

Disclaimer: Opinions of The Last Jewish Waiter are not necessarily those of Katz’s Deli.

It’s Friday morning, spring time in New York. We had a long winter and spring is just a wonderful time to be alive! Things are greening up, and warming up, and becoming just very pleasant in general. Everywhere but inside Katz’s Delicatessen. Whenever I walk in there the hanging smell of pastrami, mustard and pickles hits me, it’s all over.

Anyway, I get in pretty early, and am fortunate to get in on the Dominican breakfast, not really breakfast, but still, Jerry and Jose are very generous to me, giving me a beautiful plate of chicken and rice. I get some salad, and Miguel cuts me a little Turkey, also for some reason baked beans. That will be the mistake….

Anyway the store is crowded this morning, with kids. Some kind of school tour, I guess. They shouldn’t be here long, when I notice three surly looking dudes at my table.

‘Ah’ I sigh deeply. I cannot stand working sometimes. I need a vacation. The reason I don’t take a vacation? There are several I guess. The top one being that I am cheap. But the next one is that if I go away, I do not want to come back. It will be such a let down. At least this is what I tell myself.

I approach the surly guys.

‘I want a Cuban sandwich’  The surliest one says.

I get really angry.

‘We don’t have Cuban sandwiches man.’ I say shortly.

‘OK. Gimme two eggs sunny side up, white bread and butter and some ham.’
(this guy knows what he wants)

Fucking ham? We don’t have ham.

‘We don’t have fucking ham.’ I say.

‘Listen’ I go on. ‘Why don’t you guys go down the street, go somewhere else, and you can get all this crap that you want, otherwise, just order off of the menu.’

Luckily they are amused. I get them a Reuben, which rhymes with Cuban, a turkey sandwich, and for the instigator, a pastrami with melted Swiss cheese (my goto sandwich for the non believer who wants a Cuban).

They are happy, they leave a horrible tip, but it was more than i expected, so good for me.

The Baked beans churn in my stomach, and my stupid life goes on.

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  • Paul Lazaro

    There is a significant Jewish-Cuban population. The other day I was pondering why there isn’t a Cuban-Jewish fusion deli. This article reminded me why. You can’t sell pork in a Jewish Deli!