Regular readers of this space know that there are few things that warm (and, perhaps, clog) a Prick’s heart like a really good Reuben sandwich – creditable versions of which are now happily popping up all over Sydney. Regulars also know that there are few things more annoying to a Prick than a fake Reuben. It’s why I have never bothered checking out Reuben Hills of a lunchtime: they serve something called a Reuben, but it’s not. So much so that they even caveat the menu item by calling it a “not Reuben”, presumably in a bid to head off action by the ACCC for false and deceptive practices. I reckon with American food quickly becoming to the 21st century what blue jeans were to the 20th, we need to get some sort of DOC-type system like the French and Italians have to prevent bastardisation of these sorts of classics.
The dislike of the fake Reuben is also why I have never had much time for chef Michael Moore’s “Reuben & Moore” outlet in the Pitt Street Westfield. It seems like a promising sort of joint, all slabs of corned beef and crusty countermen, but when you ask for a Reuben what you get is instead a bastardisation of the sandwich. But never say I am closed-minded about these things: Last week, I wandered through looking for a quick feed and was drawn to their new offering: the Reuben burger.
I’m not sure what twisted genius came up with this, but in broad terms, think of a bacon cheeseburger, but in place of bacon put a big handful of pastrami. And add some spicy mayo. And some greens. And a really big, thick bun that’s still tender, doughy, and more-or-less keeps the whole thing together, though you are forgiven for abandoning ship for a knife and fork half-way through. Given Sydney prices, the $13.50 is still kinda-sorta reasonable (the upside is you won’t want much for dinner) even if the $4.50 they hit you up for a takeaway Coke is extortionate. It’s not quote $5 for a pretzel at the Duff Brewery, but still.
I’ve had three of these babies in the last fortnight, and each one was as good as the last. I know it involves a visit to Level 5 Westfield, but it is worth the aggravation. If not the $4.50 for a Coke.