ORIGINAL SANDOS: THE REUBEN Monday, March 04, 2013

There are plenty of famous Rubens. There’s Rubén Blades, the Panamanian actor, singer and, more recently, politician. There’s, of course, Rubens, the painter. And who can forget the once-infamous, but now once again universally adored Paul Reubens (better known to thirtysomethings everywhere as Pee-wee Herman)?

But no matter what they’ve accomplished, no matter how much joy they’ve brought to the people of the world, it’s quite possible that the most famous of all Reubens is the one you’re fixing to put in your belly.

The Reuben Sandwich, made traditionally with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, comes with plenty of dodgy creations myths claimed by the usual suspects, chief among them the cafe owner with the bare pantry who is visited in the night by a foreign dignitary or a starlet who’s so hungry that they’ll eat just about anything, to which the resourceful cook then manifests, on the fly, a new standard that spreads in popularity until it’s on countless menus spanning the continent.

Our Reuben, though, variates from the standard. We’ve swapped out the traditional corned beef for our coriander-and-pepper cured pastrami, the Swiss cheese for gruyère and the sauerkraut for our housemade coleslaw comprised of, among other things, cabbage, vinegar, apples, red onions and (yep! you’ve guessed it) bacon.

Dressed with Thosand Island and served on grilled Rye bread with a side of soup, salad or French fries, our Reuben is not just a standard’s standard. And it’s quite likely that it’ll long outlive other lesser, and even wildly inventive, sandwiches, because, even when you twist it, just a little, a classic is a classic.