I am smitten.

Oh Reuben. How I love thee.

With you, man has mastered the sandwich. You make the turkey club cower for mercy. The patty melt averts its eyes. Even the mighty monte cristo walks away in shame.

I will find you, Reuben, where you most expect me to: any fine establishment, or shithole, at which you are prepared. The best amongst you will be documented here, for all to share in your majesty.

Let those who have gone before me lead the way. And I, Reuben R. Reuben, will share tales of your glory.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nate 'n Al's, Beverly Hills, CA, plus Passover teaching

At Nate 'n Al's in the 90210, they make a damn tasty sandwich. Perhaps the best prepared rye Reuben R. Reuben has ever had. Clearly toasted, then buttered, then grilled. Firm as a linebacker's buttocks (so I'm told), and an excellent support system for the beef.

Corned beef was not greasy, not drippy, and solid. As the CB melded with the kraut and swiss, the flavor profiles were slightly below top notch, so it does not make the ever evolving top 5. That said, I was nonetheless deeply pleased. Bonus points for high quality potato salad, that being the gelatinous yellow orb to the upper right.

But, my friends, how I got to Nate 'n Al's is a tale worth telling. Do you have a moment? Good. Me too.

I occasionally troll the gigs listings on Craigslist, envisioning that a burgeoning sandwich maker will be looking for a tester, or perhaps a 1000 Island dressing factory needs a taster part time. I saw a listing requesting someone to help prepare a host for his first Passover seder.

Now RRR has attended and led seders for decades, and finds Passover to be the coolest of all holidays, goys included. The Passover Blog is not far off in the distance. So I answered the listing, and the man on the other end agreed to meet. But where? I had mentioned this blog...not sure why...it always seems to enter my conversations somehow...usually from me. He said let's meet at Nate 'n Al's. "I'll be the guy in the Red Sox hat."

And so he was.
Meet Sandy.
Reubenites, RRR himself has been a Red Sox fan since Smoky Joe Wood won 34 games in 1912.
So even on Cragslist, there is kismet.

He wisely placed the same exact order as I; Reuben, potato salad. I hope he was sated.
Sandy increased the quality of our visit, and the quality of my life, by bringing along his Uncle Irving.

Uncle Irving's picture is slightly larger. He deserves it. He's 90, and eats Matzah Ball soup like a champ.

Irving has written a script for a film about peace, and has a meeting with the Dalai Lama's people this week. I shit you not...this is LA.
Irving asked me if I knew Hollywood people, like Madonna, or Harrison Ford. Sadly, I do not. If you do, please send them my way, and I will pass them on to Uncle Irving.

I ate my customary half sandwich, and packed the rest to go. The amount of dinners I've had of half-Reubens now numbers in the teens.

Uncle Irving, whose picture again is symbolically and justifiably larger, only hate half of his soup.

I hope his leftovers were outstanding.

Our lunch included hardcore Passover prep. Gear to buy, food props to have on the table, menu possibilities, non-kosher watchlists.
I recommended shrimp, bacon, and cheeseburgers, naturally.

After we dined, we headed to Arata's judaica store on Fairfax in West Hollywood, where Sandy and Uncle Irving browsed through overpriced Passover impulse items.

A fabulous Sunday spent.
Thanks for hiring Reuben R. Reuben, Sandy!

I teach a mean Simchas Torah...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Omelet adventures continue

Reubenite Lewis is the inventor, and so far, sole documented partaker of the Reuben Omelet. He is fearless, determined, and exactly the right degree of unstable. He files the following report.

The Ruben Omelet from Factor's Deli., 9420 w Pico, blvd, LA, CA.

The waitress took the order, but she seemed a little upset by the idea of putting sauerkraut in my eggs. She tried to push the "Bread-less Ruben" as an alternative, but I was not swayed. The omelet was pretty tasty. The corned beef was flavorful and not at all greasy, it was cut small and combined well with the kraut. The only real flaw was the traditional Los Angeles problem of the cheese being on top of, and not in the omelet. Who thinks that cheese on top is better? Added points for the waitress calling everybody at the table "young woman" and "young man" despite nobody under 35 being present.

Thank you Reubenite Lewis. He also sent along this titillating bonus photo of passover fix-ins in the Factor's display deli case. It's Charoset season!

If you don't know what Charoset is, ask a jew. While you're at it, you may also want to ask a jew other stuff, like how to instill guilt in a child, or to name the middle infield of the 1983 New York Mets.