Here in Cape Town, a Gatsby is far more than an iconic literary figure—you’ve read the book, you’ve seen the movie, but have you eaten the sandwich?
While the character Gatsby was elusive and somewhat mysterious, his sandwich alter-ego puts it all out there for everyone to see. Take a hoagie roll, fill it with curried meat, French fries, and the kitchen sink, and voilà: you have a different kind of (but equally great) Gatsby.
My go-to Gatsby haunt is Mariam’s Kitchen, a delicious, low-key halal takeout joint with two locations: St. George’s Mall and Heerengracht Street. Another solid variant is from Cosy Corner, but you can find perfectly passable Gatsby’s on hundreds of menus at no-frills spots across the country.
And what of that name? Legend has it the birth of this particular Gatsby was a serendipitous accident, conceived when a fish-and-chips proprietor ran out of fish and stuffed a roll with whatever he had lying around. He’d taken a fancy to the 1970′s Robert Redford version of the film that had released around that time, and named it in his honor. Is that fiction? Who knows. But the Gatsby’s deliciousness is confirmed fact.