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Sandwich Monday: The Woody Allen

Posted: September 23, 2013

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For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try the "Woody Allen," made famous by the Carnegie Deli in New York City. It's got pastrami, corned beef, and a whole lot of baggage.

The Woody Allen. There's a quarter in this photograph to give you a sense of scale, but it's so tiny you can't see it.

The Woody Allen. There's a quarter in this photograph to give you a sense of scale, but it's so tiny you can't see it.

Peter wonders how a sandwich this good could have made a movie like Match Point.

Peter wonders how a sandwich this good could have made a movie like Match Point.

Yet another photograph taken by the Sandwich Monday mascot, Eatey the Diabetic Eagle.

Yet another photograph taken by the Sandwich Monday mascot, Eatey the Diabetic Eagle.

This is exactly the face Robert made while watching Manhattan Murder Mystery.

This is exactly the face Robert made while watching Manhattan Murder Mystery.

This is the moment when New Intern Steven realizes what being our intern is going to mean.

This is the moment when New Intern Steven realizes what being our intern is going to mean.

So many great sandwiches have been named after great directors: the reuben, named for the great Ingmar Reuben, and the cheese sandwich, named for James Cameron. The Carnegie Deli in New York created the "Woody Allen," and our own Eleven City Diner here in Chicago copied it "oh so close." It's a double-decker corned beef and pastrami on rye.

Ian: Boy, the pastrami at this place is really good. And in such large portions!

Mike: I'm glad we're out of the period when Woody Allen sandwiches were intentionally not delicious. I hated "Hannah And Her Sandwiches."

Miles: If you ordered this sandwich between 1978 and 1987, it was just an empty wrapper, representing the trivial nature of man's pursuits.

Miles: Sure, a 30-pound sandwich seems unhealthy, but you have to think about all of the calories you're losing lifting it from the table to your mouth.

Peter: A classic Jewish deli sandwich, like this, has lots of meat and not much else. It's like we're not eating the meat, we're hoarding it in case of trouble.

Ian: I wish I could bring out Marshall McLuhan to give me the Heimlich maneuver.

Mike: While you're at it, why don't you just bring out Henry Heimlich?

Peter: I used to eat these kinds of sandwiches a lot when I lived in New York. That's why I died six years ago.

Ian: I bet there was a lot of misplaced excitement on the farm when someone described a double-decker sandwich as "basically like bunk beds for animals!"

Miles: I, personally, like any sandwich that comes preinstalled with a retaining wall.

Peter: I didn't like that it came with fruit salad. It's weird to see such a classic old sandwich co-starring with something so young and fresh.

Peter: Love is too weak a word for this sandwich. I luuuurve this sandwich. Oh, wait, that was just a burp.

Steven: Don't knock mastication; it's lunch with someone I love.

[The verdict: It takes a confident sandwich to know it's good enough that you'll eat it even if you have to dislocate your jaw to do so, and this is that sandwich. Truly, a sandwich called the Woody Allen should have a few really amazing pieces of meat, and then a bunch of less amazing meat you keep eating in the hopes it'll be as amazing as the meat at the top, only to be repeatedly disappointed. But this is good all the way through.]

Sandwich Monday is a satirical feature from the humorists at Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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