A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 01, 2019
Gatsby (sandwich)

A “Gatsby” sandwich is a South African submarine sandwich that contains french fries and assorted meats. The sandwich is credited to have been invented in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town by Athlone shop owner Rashaad Pandy. “Slab chips” (french fires with vinegar), polony and achaar were placed in a sub roll. The sandwich was named after the film The Great Gatsby (1974), and the year was about 1976.

The “Gatsby” sandwich—also written lowercase as “gatsby”—has been cited in print since at least 2005.


Wikipedia: Gatsby (sandwich)
A Gatsby is a South African submarine sandwich typically sold as a foot-long sandwich sliced into four portions. It is a popular sandwich in the Western Cape province, with many fast food and takeaway restaurants, stores and food stands purveying them.
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History
The Gatsby sandwich originated in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, where Athlone shop owner Rashaad Pandy was renovating a new location. He wanted a serve a quick but filling meal to his hired help, so he put South-African-style French Fries known colloquially as “slap chips,” polony and achaar in a large round of bread and cut this into wedges. One of the workers, a gentleman who went by the moniker Froggy, upon tasting a piece of this sandwich, called it a “Gatsby smash,” after the 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby, which had been shown recently at an Athlone cinema

Wikipedia: The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession with the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

29 September 2005, New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), “Go spicy or light and easy” by V. Josephine, pg. 19:
THERE is a new range of a la carte dishes at the Duyong Restaurant, Kelab Darul Ehsan, Ampang Jaya, Selangor. (...) “Those who prefer something light and easy should try the Gatsby sandwich with either beef or chicken and selected vegetable salad.”
(Executive chef Mustafa Kamal—ed.)

Google Groups: SA Jets
FOOD that requires a knife
Davyd
11/19/05
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ooooh, johnny’s rotis (now also in Cape Town), big korn bites, gatsby’s, biltong, milo that you eat straight out the tin ...

11 December 2005, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Your Way, You can hike fabled Table Mountain or luxuriate in a spa on its slopes. Rugged or refined - Cape Town lets visitors experience both” by Erik Holm, pg. D6:
The food available at countless take-aways throughout the city is generally fantastic as well. At such places, be sure to try the locally invented Gatsby sandwich or the bunny chow. A Gatsby is a deli roll stuffed with a disturbing combination of cold cuts, French fries and sweet and sour sauce.

Independent Online—IOL (South Africa)
Late-night fast food has come a long way
FOOD & DRINK / 20 OCTOBER 2006, 09:19AM /
There’s a delightful advertisement on the radio which points out the potential for drunken munchies which often lead you to order things with chilli, pickles and extra cheese, or a garlic polony Gatsby.

April 2010, Saveur (New York, NY), “The Pantry” by Ben Mims, pg. 96:
When visiting Cape Town, head over to the Athlone suburb to eat a Gatsby sandwich at Super Fisheries (63 Old Klipfontein Road; 27/21/696-9833).

Google Groups: RiD1™
Cape Town Slang
RiD1™
6/21/12
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Gatsby:
This is a Cape Town delicacy, traditionally indigenous to the area but now also found around the country Picture a fat 30 or so centimeter French loaf. Now cut it lengthways and layer it with chips, salad, viennas, Russians, steak, egg, etc… And you have a Gatsby.

20 September 2013, The New Indian Express (Chennai, India), “Street Food around the globe”:
Gatsby Sandwich (South Africa):
This popular street food is a long roll cut lengthwise and the opening filled with various meats and vegetables. The filling of the Gatsby depends largely on the person ordering it. It can be a saucy bolognese, sausages, chicken, calamari, masala steak… whatever you want. The invention of this sandwich probably happened because people of South Africa would take a big roll of bread and fill it with leftovers to split it four ways. This practice gave rise to a fantastic street food.

Daily Maverick (South Africa)
In search of Cape Town’s own Great Gatsby
By Rebecca Davis• 9 October 2013
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One creation story simply holds that Cape Flats residents have for many years filled long rolls with meal leftovers to feed multiple people at once – though that wouldn’t explain how the meal acquired its unusual name.

Rashaad Pandy, the man who claims to be Cape Town’s F. Scott Fitzgerald – Gatsby’s creator – is the proprietor of a fast-food store in Athlone called Super Fisheries, which he founded in 1974. On Tuesday, Pandy was one of the guests of honour at a Waterfront event which saw chefs prepare a Gatsby of over 8 metres in length. Given the colossal size of a regular Gatsby – sometimes nicknamed an AK47 partly because it can be cradled in the arm in a similar manner – it appeared only slightly bigger than normal.

Google Books
The Stars of Summer
By Tara Dairman
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
2015
Pg. 309:
The Gatsby sandwich at Harlem’s Cape Flats restaurant features snappy sausages, just-fried-enough “chips,” and a sour-sweet pickle topping. This combination of textures and flavors creates an almost-perfect hot dog-eating experience.

25 October 2015, New York (NY) Times, “36 Hours in Cape Town” by Sarah Khan, Travel sec., pg. 5, col. 3:
8. The Great Gatsby | 1 p.m.
Don’t leave Cape Town without trying the city’s signature Gatsby sandwich—a behemoth sub laden with saucy meat and French fries. The origin of the hoagie’s amusing name is up for debate, but they’re sold at plenty of no-frills “takeaways”; one of the best is at Mariam’s Kitchen on the pedestrian St. George’s Mall promenade. A full steak Gatsby could feed up to four people and costs 120 rand. Mariam’s closes at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, so keep it quick.

Cape Town Magazine (South Africa)
The Gatsby Sandwich
Unwrapping Cape Town’s signature super loaf

Last Update: May 25, 2017
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The story of the loaf’s accidental beginnings goes something like this: once upon a time, way back in 1976, there was an Athlone-based fish shop owner named Rashaad Pandy who had nothing to feed a few day workers who’d been helping him clean up a piece of property.  Being a resourceful individual, he combined what he had – a round Portuguese roll, polony, slap chips and achar – and sliced the creation into four so they could all enjoy a piece.

On tasting the roll, one of the labourers, Froggie, who was full of quirky sayings and had recently watched the film The Great Gatsby at the Athlone Theatre, gleefully exclaimed, “this is a Gatsby smash” (meaning, it’s a winning dish), and the name just stuck. The following day, Rashaad put out a few of the all-in-one buns for sale in his store, and before long, they had taken off at a pace he describes as “unreal”.

YouTube
Gatsby Sandwich - Eating South African Food in Cape Town, South Africa
Samuel and Audrey - Travel and Food Videos
Published on May 28, 2017
Join us as we eat the Gatsby submarine sandwich for lunch in Cape Town, South Africa at Miriam’s Kitchen. Originating from the Cape Flats area of Cape Town the Gatsby Sandwich is named after ‘The Great Gatsby’ novel by author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Originally the Gatsby sandwich was basically large rolls filled with whatever was leftover from supper but in a restaurant today you’ll typically find ingredients such as hot chips (French Fries), slap chips (fries with vinegar), achar and/or piri piri sauce and ingredients such as chargrilled steak, chicken, masala steak or pickled fish. It makes for a great budget meal if you’re visiting Cape Town.

Roads & Kingdoms
THE REAL GREAT GATSBY IS A SANDWICH THE SIZE OF A BABY GOAT
JUN 04 2018
Author: Jack Evans
A Gatsby in Cape Town

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The Gatsby is a legendary sandwich the size of a baby goat. It was invented decades ago in the Cape Flats—a low-lying strip of land to which tens of thousands of non-whites were forcibly moved from Cape Town neighborhoods—when a fish-and-chip shop owner offered to feed some day workers with whatever was lying around. Since then, the Gatsby has gone from a compilation of fried recyclables to a proudly indulgent mega-sandwich of the wildest ingredients. Sometimes that’s just polony, a fluorescent lunchmeat. Sometimes the excess of the day is squid.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, March 01, 2019 • Permalink