At least, at $22.22 the Tebow sandwich is a comparative bargain. Bring two friends — one a vegetarian — and subdivide it. (The vegetarian gets the top part.)
Consider it a Judaic repudiation of Christianity, or maybe a revenge exacted by real New Yorkers on all those tourists who sashay into Katz’s or the Second Avenue Deli and demand a pastrami sandwich with ketchup and mayo. (For aficionados, grainy mustard is the only acceptable condiment.)
As seen from the side: Three sticks were required to prop the humongous thing up.
Whatever the motivation, the Carnegie Deli — located on Seventh Avenue in the 50s since 1937 — launched a sandwich today in honor of the Jets’ new second-string quarterback. Variously called the “Tim Tebow” and the “Jetbow,” the thing weighs in at 3.3 pounds, and includes layers of roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, American cheese, lettuce, and sliced tomato. Oh, yeah, and it’s on white bread with mayo.
According to the Carnegie Deli, this is the first time they’ve ever used mayo and white bread on one of their sandwiches. The guy sitting next to me at the cramped table with his wife, both tourists from Denver, turned to me and said, “I grew up in the mountains with a family of 10, and we never had that much meat on the table for all of us.”
And, indeed, the sandwich is a monument to excess — and anti-deli practices. Even the Reuben sandwich had sense enough to traif-up the pastrami with Swiss cheese. This American cheese doesn’t even qualify as cheese. And the deli-men left the mayo off my sandwich. Was I going to ask for it? No, I didn’t want to set a bad example to the tourists all sitting around me.
To eat the thing, sprawl it out sideways on the extra oblong plate provided.
This is what was left of the half I tried to eat.
How did it taste? Well, since you can’t get a bite of the whole thing all at once in situ, I made a tiny sandwich with all the components. What a way to ruin good pastrami and corned beef! They were warm, but the roast beef was stone cold. The roast beef wasn’t even that good by itself. And the white bread, even though there were several puny slices of it, was inadequate to contain the greasy meat excesses, and soon there were little swatches of it littered around the plate like toilet paper in that horrible Charmin commercial with the pastel bears.
I had half the sandwich packed up and took it home for weighing. Then I said a belated grace.
854 Seventh Avenue
My fellow diners
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 26, 2012