Once upon a time there was the Gatsby Sandwich. Related to its American cousin, Hoagie. Gatsby is South African, from the Cape Flats, and is the ultimate meal you can carry like a newborn baby, it’s as heavy as one too, crammed with a variety of ingredients and most commonly accompanied with chips stuffed inside.
The Gatsby can be described and assembled as follows: Slice open a whole white bread French loaf. Line with lettuce, tomatoes and french fries (chips). Fill with desired ingredients such as fried calamari and Thousand Island dressing or Steak, Egg and Cheese, or Cheese and Perinaise. Close the top half of the bread to make a sandwich and cut into four parts. Graze as one whole meal or share with a Gatsby-lover friend.
Since I’ve been living in Cape Town for 3 years, I’m on the search for proudly South Africa and Cape Town food. Food dishes that were born here and continued to be celebrated here at take-away cafes, street markets or your Auntie’s kitchen. These are the foods you crave if you ever have to leave Cape Town or South Africa.
So, I’m on the search for the best Gatsby in the Cape Town. I started at Shop 1 Block 1 in Gatesville Shopping Area. At the Golden Dish, I ordered a 1/2 order Masala Steak Gatsby- I know what you’re thinking, ‘A half-order?’ but I was on a budget. Luckily, at the Golden Dish, the ‘mini’ is R39. The Golden Dish claims itself as a Five Star Halaal Take-Away and Fast Food Joint (Mom’s Only Competition). I waited for my number to be called and picked up my giant Gatsby sandwich. The Golden Dish slogan is ‘often eaten-always remembered’.
After I posed with my newborn Gatsby, I opened it up and realized, “Wait, this ain’t no half order and the Masala Steak looks like pink Polony and Chips. I hijacked someone else’s order and had to return my massive Gatsby for the true ‘mini’ Gatsby, with Masala Steak. There’s no kidding about portion control at the Golden Dish, the Gatsby here does not mess around, this is the real thing, and the ‘mini’ is still a full meal. If you aren’t ordering Gatsbies, there are bunny chows, salomies, curries, burgers, hot dogs, platters, salads and sandwiches. But stay true to the Cape Town tradition: there are 23 Gatsby versions on the menu, a Vegi Delite and a Masala Steak Full House Gatsby to name a few.
I’m proud to live in a city that hosts a majestic player, the Gatsby, in the world’s stage of global sandwich variations. My friend, Mary, was a judge in a Chicago sandwich competition: 3 categories-hot, cold, freestyle. After my search for the best Gatsby in Cape Town, I think I may have to host a Cape Town’s Gatsby competition: Description – 1 pt. Taste – 10 pts. Presentation – 4 pts. Ambition – 5 pts. So far, Golden Dish gets a grand total of: Description: 1, Taste: 7, Presentation: 4 Ambition: 3. Total for Masala Steak Gatsby: 15/20