There are few people who will achieve the highest known accomplishments in their lifetime. A handful will walk on the moon. Some faces will appear on currency. Others… will have a sandwich named after them. In my opinion, being dubbed any sort of food item sounds like the ultimate victory. It seems this sentiment is no different for Mr. Paul Reiser, who received a deli stack all his own yesterday at Nate ‘N Al’s Deli in Beverly Hills.

May I introduce…The Paul RYEser. Copious amounts of salami, turkey and coleslaw smashed between two pieces of rye bread and slathered in Russian dressing. Don’t be fooled by the photo below – there is no way you’re getting your chompers around this beast.

I was able to sit with him (and snack on a few pickles) during the sandwich accolades and ask about East Coast/West Coast food culture and how the heck does one gain the honor between two slices of bread.

The Cuisinerd: How did this came about:

Paul Reiser: It’s a long process. It’s like when they pick a pope…The truth is they asked me what I like and I said, I like everything really. And they had a sandwich that had everything and it was just not edible. It could not be consumed. It was 62 different meats and cheeses in there and they whittled it down and then the salami… and the turkey… and I thought sure, let’s go with that.

It’s a nice sandwich, not that heavy. I feel proud to stand by this sandwich. And I feel that ultimately if elected, I will get one of these sandwiches in every home.

The Cuisinerd: NYC vs. LA – there’s lots of rivalry in the food communities…

PR: You know, if you notice lately there’s been a call for peace. Because a lot of times you see chefs hitting the other chef on the way to the restaurant and that’s not right. Why can’t we all get along? So the rivalry I think has peaked and peace will prevail. People will eat in common.

You can’t flaw either city.  There are great places to eat. I never ever know when there is a new cool place. I have friends who do and I don’t know how they know but it will open on a Tuesday and they’re there on Wednesday. And I always go, how do you know about that? Well it just opened. Well how do you know that? Do they call you? How can that be?

The Cuisinerd: What about favorite NY Eats:

PR: I was just in New York doing some promotion and sadly did not eat enough. I ate at a place called “room service”. It comes right to you, but it ain’t that good.

Then how about LA – Have you been eating at all?

PR: Clearly!! [pointing at the Paul Ryeser sandwich poster]

There are great sushi places…where do I go!? Is it Sugar Fish?? Or is that a Vaudeville act? Not Nobu….who’s the other guy? That guy, on Ventura. See what I mean??

I just ate at Church and State. That was a great meal. Again…my hip friends took me there…and beyond that I just eat pizza out of a box…standing over a sink.

The Cuisinerd: So did you have creative consultation on this Sandwich. Did you try it first?

PR: I didn’t try it, I’m looking forward to it. But I’ve had bread. I’ve had salami. I’ve had turkey. I don’t imagine putting them together is going to be…you can’t really mess that up.

The Cuisinerd: But the decision on coleslaw and Russian dressing?

PR: Well you know what, I was feeling bold.  Sometimes you want to push the envelope. They really wanted to put an envelope in the sandwich and I told them that’s gonna taste terrible. I pushed the envelope…out. Brought in the coleslaw and people say, well, is it just that you like salami? And there was a relationship going back. I never slept with salami, we were friends, I enjoy salami and salami enjoyed me. There was nothing beyond that.

[Later, after trying to wrap my mouth around the monster sandwich]

PR: Did you try the sandwich, was it good?! What did you think?!

The Cuisinerd: There’s A LOT of meat in there, but yes good stuff!

PR: Nah, not like the ones in the Carnegie Deli…that thing will send you on into the Emergency Room.


*All Photos The Cuisinerd