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Where To Buy A Gatsby In Cape Town
There are a few towns in the world that have a signature junk food. New York is known for pizza and hot dogs, Phillidelphia for the Cheese stake and in Cape Town, well here we have the Gatbsy. The name by design inspires thoughts of decadence and grandiose if we think of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Ironically in a way, the Gatsby does hold those characteristics, just shaped a little differently.
The history of the Gatbsy
The Gatsby sandwich originated in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town where Athlone based Super Fisheries shop owner Rashaad Pandy was renovating a new location.
He wanted a serve a quick but filling meal to his hired help, so he put together a sandwich with what he had available. One of the workers, a gentleman who went by the moniker Froggy, upon tasting a piece of this sandwich, called it a "Gatsby smash," after the 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby.
The name stuck and Pandy subsequently offered the sandwich in the shop.
Like G string (thong underwear) the Gatbsy was created out of necessity and with materials available. Clearly, both inventors were short on material and used what they had. And just like the G-string the Gatsby is seen as the promise of a guilty pleasure for many.
What exactly is a Gatsby?
The Gatsby is normally found at local fast food shops and corner stores in the Cape Flats area, its natural habitat. They resemble a submarine sandwich but way greasier. While they can be enjoyed sober, they and tasty and some would say vital after a boozy night out.
The french loaf is typically filled with "slap tjips" (fries) along with a meat and sometimes salad or egg. Your typical gatsby's protein choice would be either polony, mutton, chicken, Russian sausage, Vienna, fish, calamari or the creme de la creme, the steak.
When eating a Gatsby there are a few rules you should keep in mind, namely:
- After each piece is assigned to a holder, all chips that are left are free for all and the fastest claims it.
- All fries that fall out of the Gatsby while eating it no longer the property of the holder of the sandwich and can be grabbed at will.
- Cut in 3 or 4 are your only options.
- Best enjoyed on the bonnet of a car outside the place of purchase.
- Best enjoyed with some cheap tropical or fruity flavoured soda such as but not limited to Cubana or Jive.
Where can I find a Gatsby?
If you're sold on the idea or you haven't had one in a while, then here are a few hot spots where you can grab a "Geba" and send you and your stomach into a catatonic state.
Note: This list is not an order of preference and is listed in on particular order.
1. Pinto's food
- Address: Shop 6, Montague Drive, Montague Gardens
- Tel: 021 552 2831
2. District 6 cafe
- Address: Soneike, Kuils River
- Tel: 087 822 1888
3. Golden dish
- Address: Shop 1 Block 1 Gatesville Shopping Centre, Klipfontein and Hazel Road, Gatesville
- Tel: +27 21 633 7864 or +27 21 829 0737
4. Cozy corner
- Address: 119 Ottery Rd, Wynberg, Cape Town
- Tel: 021 797 2498
5. Mariam's kitchen
- Address: 101 St Georges Mall, Cape Town City Centre
- Tel: 021 423 0772
- Address: 86 Ottery Road, Wynberg, Cape Town
- Tel: 021 797 5682
7. Ottery farm stall
- Address: 52 Ottery Road, Ottery, Cape Town
- Tel: 021 704 2211
8. Super fisheries
- Address: 63 Old Klipfontein Road, Athlone
- Tel: 021 696 9833
9. Yusra's kitchen
- Address: 44 Main Street, Sea Point, Cape Town
- Tel: 021 439 4883
10. Bona fast foods
- Address: Victoria Road, Grassy Park
- Tel: 021 705 3015
- Address: 2 Wale Street & Pentz Street | Schotsche Kloof
- Tel: 021 423 0850
12. Talha take-aways
- Address: 234 A Connaught Road, Cravenby
- Tel: 073 055 9933
13. Fisherman's lane
- Address: Klipfontein Road, Athlone, Cape Town
- Tel: 021 637 6567
The Gourmet Gatbsy
I'm going touch on a pretty contentious topic, and that is the Gourmet Gatsby. The popularity of the dish was always going to attract the Cape Town hipster culture to try and re-invent or instead reinterpret it in their way.
While Gatbsy purists/maximalists will stick to the types of venues listed above and the formula previously mentioned, there are alternatives you could consider.
If you're looking for an artisanal reimagining of the Gatbsy, you can try out venues such as:
1. Lekker Vegan
Lekker Vegan, is a Vegan gourmet junk food restaurant with their own take on the Cape Town staple. Their Lekker Gatsby contains no meat and is stuffed with things most junk food addicts would turn up their nose towards, but a new interpretation none the less.
- Address: 37 Barrack Street, Corner of Harrington & Barrack Street, Zonnebloem
- Tel: 064 268 6959
- Address: Shop 11A1, Palmhof Shopping Center, 105 Kloof St, Gardens
- Kloof street Tel:
- Website: http://lekkervegan.co.za/
2. Raptor Room
Raptor room offers a quirky interpretation of traditional junk food and the Gatbys is one of them. They offer a wood-fired Portuguese loaf, spiced cauliflower achaar w/hand-cut chips, all the trimmings & your choice of filling Jurassic Pork R170 Hungry Herbivore Fried Chicken R170 Fried Chicken Tender
- Address: 79 Roeland Street, Zonnebloem
- Tel: 087 625 0630
- Website: https://www.raptorroom.co.za/
Tell us your Gatsby story
Which Gatsby store is your favourite? Are there any you think should be added to your list? What was your best Geba memory? Share it with us in the comments section below
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