Forget Fitzgerald. Can the real great gatsby please stand up? We’re talking a footlong sandwich crammed with hot chips, a protein of your choice (think chicken, steak, fish and calamari) with all the trimmings, smothered in sauce.
The unmistakably South African super sandwich had its humble beginnings in the Cape Flats (where it’s still most widely available). It was accidentally created in 1976 by Rashaad Pandy – or so the story goes. According to Pandy, he serendipitously invented the gatsby in the 70s after putting together a few odds and ends comprising a Portuguese roll, hot chips, polony and atchar to feed a few hungry workers. Since then, the sandwich-on-steroids has evolved into a favourite, particularly among workers and clubgoers, prized for being both budget-friendly and mouthwateringly delicious.
If you’re going gatsby guzzling for the first time, it’s important that you bear these four rules in mind:
1. Go hungry (or hangry, if you can manage it).
2. Prepare to share.
3. Roll up your sleeves (it’s going to get messy).
4. Have a drink by your side (you’ll thank me later).
5. The unwritten rule, which I have just broken: do not take a nap after eating. I repeat: do not take a nap after eating.
When in Athlone, it would be a sacrilege not to pay a visit to Super Fisheries, which is owned by the creator of the gatsby, Rashaad Pandy. Here you can expect to find halaal gatsbys ranging from the popular and pocket-friendly polony gatsby with atchar (for a mere R40) to fish and calamari gatsbys for a couple of rand extra.
#letsparty #fish&calamari #gatsby with atcha from super fisheries athlone #gdfr #beksex A photo posted by Andre Mercury (@djdre_sa) on
If you’re willing to splurge a little more and aren’t planning to visit the Cape Flats anytime soon, try this halaal fast food joint in the heart of the CBD. They are best known for their masala steak gatsbys (R140), but the “full house” is also a popular choice among the ravenous, crammed with everything from chips, steak and eggs, to cheese, chips and salads (R180). (Yes, all in one sandwich).
With over 30 variations on offer, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed at The Golden Dish. The inventive combos range from a vegetarian option of chips, cheese and salad topped with perinaise (R65), to combos of viennas, polony, egg, cheese and perinaise (R100). A “full house” comprising steak, cheese, eggs and chips will set you back R115 – the full house goulash gatsby is a popular option in this section.
A favourite among regular gatsby eaters in Cape Town, Aneesa’s is known for their special secret spice and sauce. From as little as R60, you can share a polony gatsby among up to five friends, try a chicken gatsby for R105, or go big with their version of the “full house” gatsby. This guy is stuffed with masala steak, eggs, cheese, their famous spiced chips and salad (R110).
The “smet” of the day. Masala steak gatsby from aneesas.let me just go and block my arteries #localislekker #localisbetter #smet #aneesas #gatbsy #cheatday #capetown A photo posted by Dr.Reza Parker (@rezaparkersa) on
Though most gatsby aficionados are biased towards their personal favourites, it does seem a large portion agree that Cosy Corner makes the ultimate gatsbys in the Mother City. Here you can find fillings ranging from boerewors (R118) and lamb curry (R124) to their ever-so-popular chargrilled rump steak gatsby (R124). Now that’s a gatsby after our own hearts!
*Half gatsbys are available from all of the above-mentioned outlets (all Halaal), at roughly half the price.