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Behold ‘The Fat Jewish,’ the World’s Greatest Hanukkah-Themed Sandwich

Liver. Latkes. Brisket. Bialy. Magic.

Liel Leibovitz
December 19, 2017
Courtesy Fat Sal's
'The Fat Jewish' sandwichCourtesy Fat Sal’s
Courtesy Fat Sal's
'The Fat Jewish' sandwichCourtesy Fat Sal’s

In this season of contemplating miracles, let us celebrate one more: Fat Sal’s Hollywood, a fine deli, has partnered with internet celebrity The Fat Jew, local bakery Yeastie Boys Bagels, and superstar chef Eric Greenspan to create “The Fat Jewish,” the greatest Hanukkah-themed sandwich ever made.

The magic starts with the bread, which is a bialy, which is what you should be eating instead of bagels. It’s schmeared with roasted green apple cream cheese and topped with chicken liver mousse, crispy chicken skin (also called gribenes), potato latkes, beer-brined pastrami, and 17-hour smoked brisket. It’s neither kosher nor healthy, which is kind of fitting, considering Hanukkah’s rise to prominence on Christmas’s coattails.

“I love the fact that we put french fries in our sandwiches. So to put fried potato latkes just felt perfect. That’s our comfort zone. We were thinking about some whitefish, too, but we didn’t want to scare people off!” Josh Stone, Fat Sal’s co-owner, told LA Weekly. But whereas whitefish was left out of the sandwich, chopped liver just had to make the cut. “I used to make chopped liver with my grandfather as a kid,” Stone added. “I have many fond memories standing in his kitchen, frying up livers and adding schmaltz. It was more like a smooth, chicken liver mousse, as it didn’t have that graininess to it. He was really inspiring to what I do today—he was my ambassador to flavor and taste. He took me to Manhattan restaurants, was a world-class eater and a really good cook.” There you have it: There’s a little bit of zayde in every bite, too.

Sadly, this magical creation has already completed its seasonal run, and now fades into the realm of lore and legend. A pizza-themed sandwich is rumored to be next for Fat Sal’s. But if there’s any holiday spirit still burning bright, someone will write a song about this sandwich, and generations of Jews will turn their eyes to Hollywood each December, muttering the ancient mantra: Nes Gadol Haya Sham.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.