Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's that I smell?

Could it be the Guinness Beef Stew? or perhaps the Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting?

We also still have the Rubenesque, a sandwich plump with pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing and the Torpedo, spicy Italian sausage, homemade peperonata sauce and aged provolone cheese stuffed into a ciabatta sub roll.

Do you know what pastrami is? Okay, so we all know it is a deli meat. You've probably had some benign version served on a cold cut plate along side of American cheese. If you are very fortunate, you've had it hot and piled high on a sandwich from Attman's. Their President's Special inspired the moment of culinary existentialism that provoked the question "but what is pastrami"?

Come to find out, pastrami is smoked corned beef. That's it. Smoked corned beef. I'd be embarrassed to admit my ignorance, but for the fact that, as far as I can tell, no one else knows either. Everybody, my self included, has some vague notion of it being like corned beef only different. My assumption had been the difference was in the brining.

So the next time you are grumbling about the Cafe not being open on Sundays, get yourself down to East Lombard Street. Make sure you speak up, order a pickle if you want one, sip on a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda and reflect on the elegant marriage of bread and beef that is the deli sandwich.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.