The mysterious Joe had seduced me with its reputation. Exotic, unattainable, available only indigenously. While I know in my heart that settling is a crime, punishable by misery, and that doing without is preferable, noble even, I would have settled for an imitation, an imposter, a reasonable facsimile. I did without though, and my appetite sharpened until it was as pointy as a larding needle.
Head scratcher (honey, don’t do that at the lunch table please): The New Jersey Sloppy Joe has not been pirated to other locales. Muffaletas, pulled pork, Cubanos, Reubens, the banh mi, Philly cheesesteaks, and countless other notable wiches have emigrated to parts far slung. The Joe? Uh uh. No franchised Joe. Although the Town Hall Deli will ship one to you. I wonder how they hold up?
The reputation of the Joe faded to beige once I had experienced the genuine article. I’m a goner and have joined the tribe of fanatics.
The Town Hall Delicatessen lies in wait between NYC and me. A connector, touchstone, seducer. Connecting the dots from home to Joe with a sprinkling of rye bread crumbs and splashes of sauce. Holy cow that sandwich was good.