Back in May, when New York got all riled up about signing Lebron James to the Knicks, the Carnegie Deli named a sandwich after him. Here’s owner Sandy Levine holding up the Lebron James MVP (pastrami, corned beef, brisket, and turkey, American cheese, lettuce, tomato stacked on rye bread):
Now that James is going to Miami, flame indeed is fleeting. As gossip site TMZ reported, Carnegie has dropped Lebron’s sandwich in disgust.
In related news, Bob Greene of CNN.com, uses the Stage Deli’s sandwiches to explain the fleeting nature of celebrity.
Writes Greene, who interviewed owner Steve Auerbach:
The triple-decker sandwiches at the Stage have traditionally been named for famous men and women. The idea is to appeal to customers whose eyes will be drawn to an item on the menu because of the celebrity associated with it.
So I asked Auerbach about the No. 8 — the sandwich called the Katie Couric. It features turkey, ham and swiss cheese.
It wasn’t always known as the Katie Couric, Auerbach said. Its name was changed in recent years from what it was formerly called. Diners, it seemed, were no longer quite as attracted to the old name of the No. 8:
The Marilyn Monroe.
Same with the No. 18 (turkey, chopped liver, lettuce, tomato, onion). It’s a hit, in large part because of the bigger-than-life New York figure for whom it is named: Alex Rodriguez. The A-Rod sandwich appeals to a new generation of customers who might not feel as strong a connection with what the same triple-decker was called until not so long ago:
The Joe DiMaggio.
So there you have it. One day you’re on top of the world, named as a sandwich, and the next you’re cast off the menu by Katie Couric. Such is the nature of the spotlight. Still, it will take a lot to unseat the Woody Allen’s of the sandwich naming world. If you do happen to get a sandwich named after you, do not handle it like Larry: