The but­ter­milk-brined meat of the Ca­jun chicken sand­wich is some of the most ten­der I’ve tasted, and its nub­bly corn­meal bat­ter is a thing near and dear to my heart, just like the kind that swad­dles oys­ters and cat­fish across the South.

Pasatiempo - - RESTAURANT REVIEW -

As I stood in line, de­cid­ing what to or­der, a mother and son raved about the burger that they’d had on their last visit. Their guid­ance aside, I felt com­pelled to choose the Reuben. It’s one of the last things our col­league, lo­cal food critic Rob DeWalt, wrote about be­fore his un­timely death.

It’s a nearly per­fect sand­wich. The soft mar­bled rye is redo­lent with car­away. The pas­trami is ten­der, pep­pery, and heady with the aro­mat­ics of its spice-heavy brine. The ra­tio of meat to mildly funky sauer­kraut is ideal. The Swiss cheese had melted down the sides of the sand­wich and onto the grid­dle, where it singed to a de­light­ful golden crisp.

Though the sun high above was warm and bright, we ate our meal un­der a melan­cholic cloud. “If they don’t have this when you reach the pearly gates,” DeWalt wrote of the SFI Reuben, “turn around.” I don’t know what hap­pens when you die, but if there’s a heaven, I hope Rob is re­clin­ing on a cloud there, eat­ing Reubens like this for eter­nity.

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