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 June 06, 2018
Waldorf Sandwich

A Waldorf sandwich (named from New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel) is usually a Waldorf salad between two slices of bread. A recipe for “Waldorf Sandwiches” was printed in The Evening Star (Washington, DC) on November 17, 1903, consisting of apples and celery.

A different Waldorf sandwich—a chicken sandwich, without apples an celery—was demanded by Huey Long (1893-1935), U. S. Senator from Louisiana, on his visit to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Long demanded a Waldorf sandwich like he had eaten there many years ago, but Long’s version was a special order. Oscar Tschirky, maitre d’hotel of the Waldorf, explained in the New York (NY) Herald Tribune on March 4, 1932:

“A Waldorf sandwich consisted of toast, sliced chicken and a leaf of lettuce with mayonnaise served between the toast. When I saw the Senator he was not sure whether it ought to be made with bacon or ham, but he added Swiss cheese and wanted it covered in batter and fried in butter. I did call up a retired chef on Long Island and he remembered that he had cooked sandwiches in that style to order, but they were never known as the Waldorf sandwich. I went down to the kitchen and had the sandwich made that way, with a batter like that used in French toast and fried in butter. The Senator said it was fine, and I have now put it down on the menu as the Waldorf sandwich. If anybody orders it now he will get it made in Senator Long’s way.”


Wikipedia: Waldorf Astoria New York
The Waldorf Astoria New York is a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The hotel has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York. The first, bearing the same name, was built in two stages, as the Waldorf Hotel and the Astoria Hotel, which accounts for its dual name. That original site was situated on Astor family properties along Fifth Avenue, opened in 1893, and designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh. It was demolished in 1929 to make way for the construction of the Empire State Building. The present building, at 301 Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, is a 47-story 190.5 m (625 ft) Art Deco landmark designed by architects Schultze and Weaver, which was completed in 1931.

Wikipedia: Huey Long
Huey Pierce Long Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), self-nicknamed The Kingfish, was an American politician who served as the 40th governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a member of the United States Senate from 1932 until his assassination in 1935.

Chronicling America
17 November 1903, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Table and Kitchen,” pg. 15, col. 5:
Waldorf Sandwiches.
Two Greening apples chopped fine and same quantity of minced, crisp, white celery. Olive oil and tarragon vinegar enough to moisten; a pinch of salt. Use whole-wheat bread.

Tokay or white grapes, sliced in half and seeded and mixed with chopped sour apple and crisp celery moistened with French dressing is very nice.

Chronicling America
15 July 1904, Bottineau (ND) Courant, pg. 8, col. 1:
Waldorf sandwiches are made of white bread and butter spread with a mixture of equal parts of sliced apple and celery, a sprinkling of sliced walnuts, all moistened well with mayonnaise.

Google Books
The Up-to-Date Sandwich Book:
400 Ways to Make a Sandwich

By Eva Greene Fuller
Chicago, IL: A. C. McClurg & Co.
1909
Pg. 58:
WALDORF SANDWICH
Chop two apples, two stalks of celery, and one sweet pepper fine, add a little mayonnaise dressing, mix, and place between thin slices of lightly buttered white bread. Garnish with a sprig of watercress.

July 1915, Candy and Ice Cream, “Dainty Luncheons” by Edith A. Bailey, pg. 22, col. 2:
Waldorf Sandwich
Spread white bread with good butter, trim off the crusts, and add a crisp lettuce leaf. Mix with mayonnaise dressing, equal parts of chopped fresh celery and chopped walnut meats. Spread on the sandwich. Add thin slices of banana and a thin slice of orange.

Google Books
The Hotel Monthly
Volume 37, Issues 430-435
1929
Pg. 78:
Waldorf Sandwich
Apples, celery, butter, bread, mayonnaise, lemon juice
Mix Jonathan, Northern Spy or Snow apples, chopped fine and marinated in lemon juice for fifteen minutes, with one-half the amount finely chopped hearts of celery and enough mayonnaise to bind. Spread mixture on white bread, buttered, and cut in fancy shapes. Serve on lettuce leaves. Chopped walnuts, pecans or pistachios may be mixed with apples and celery for variety.

4 March 1932, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 32, col. 5:
Senator Huey Long Shows Oscar How to Make Waldorf Sandwich
Rejects Hotel’s Recipe as All Wrong; Senate Frozen and Washington Uncivilized

By Alva Johnston
(...)
“This is probably the only place in America that did not know how to make a Waldorf sandwich,” said Senator Long. “I remembered them from the old days at the Waldorf, but they had forgotten them here. Even Oscar insisted that I was wrong, but he finally telephoned to a retired chef who lives on Long Island and the old chef gave the recipe just as I did.”

Oscar’s Version Differs
Oscar told the story differently:

“A Waldorf sandwich consisted of toast, sliced chicken and a leaf of lettuce with mayonnaise served between the toast. When I saw the Senator he was not sure whether it ought to be made with bacon or ham, but he added Swiss cheese and wanted it covered in batter and fried in butter. I did call up a retired chef on Long Island and he remembered that he had cooked sandwiches in that style to order, but they were never known as the Waldorf sandwich. I went down to the kitchen and had the sandwich made that way, with a batter like that used in French toast and fried in butter. The Senator said it was fine, and I have now put it down on the menu as the Waldorf sandwich. If anybody orders it now he will get it made in Senator Long’s way.”

4 March 1932, New York (NY) Times, pg. 21, col. 5:
HUEY LONG REVIVES WALDORF SANDWICH
Here on a Visit, He Tells Oscar How It’s Made, but Their Opinions Seem to Differ.
OFFERS POT LIKKER RECIPE
He Quotes Scripture on Country’s Plight and Gives His Views on Politics and Economics.
Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana came to the city yesterday for a stay at the Waldorf-Astoria, declared that any good Democrat could win the Presidential election, quoted the Scriptures to show that the country was in trouble because it had departed from the statutes of the Lord, asserted that the remedy for the depression was an equitable distribution of wealth, and restored the old-fashioned Waldorf sandwich to the hotel menu.

“I ordered a Waldorf sandwich,” he said, “and when it was delivered it wasn’t the old sandwich at all. I called Oscar and told him about it and he telephoned a former chef of the old Waldorf and found that I was right. A little later he sent up two of the sandwiches prepared in the old Waldorf style.

“The real Waldorf sandwich consists of slices of chicken, broiled bacon and Swiss cheese, with lettuce between two slices of toast, the whole sandwich then being dipped in batter and fried in butter. It is going back on the bill of fare. I’m going to send Oscar the recipe for ‘pot likker,’ which is a favorite in Louisiana and which I helped to popularize some time ago.”

Oscar Tschirky, maitre d’hotel of the Waldorf, confirmed the incident of telephoning the former chef, but insisted that the addition of the slice of Swiss cheese and the frying of the sandwich in butter was a “special order.”

Google Books
Huey Long’s Louisiana Hayride:
The American Rehearsal for Dictatorship, 1928-1940

By Harnett Thomas Kane
Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company
1941
Pg. 92:
At the Waldorf-Astoria, as Davis reported it, he demanded a Waldorf sandwich, but decided that Oscar had forgotten the right method of preparation and took him into the kitchen to supervise the project.

2 August 1953, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “Feminine Version of the ‘Dagwood’ Features Sandwich Month” by Dorothy Robertson, pg. 8-A, col.s 5-6:
Chicken Waldorf Sandwich
Dice a cup of cooked chicken. Cook with 1/2 cup of chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped almonds or pecans, 3 or 4 tablespoons of salad dressing, and 1/2 cup of chopped apple that has been sprinkled with lemon juice. This makes enough to spread 6 sandwiches.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, June 06, 2018 • Permalink