Is a Reuben
sandwich kosher? No - it mixes Meat
and dairy / cheese. Probably the story
isn't kosher, either.
sandwich is a hot sandwich of corned beef,
Swiss cheese, with Russian or Thousand
Island dressing, and sauerkraut. These are
grilled between slices of rye bread. Several
One account holds that Reuben Kulakofsky
(sometimes spelled Reubin, or the last name
shortened to Kay), a Lithuanian-born grocer
from Omaha, Nebraska, was the inventor,
perhaps as part of a group effort by members
of Kulakofsky's weekly poker game held in
the Blackstone Hotel from around 1920
through 1935. The participants, who
nicknamed themselves "the committee,"
included the hotel's owner, Charles Schimmel.
The sandwich first gained local fame when
Schimmel put it on the Blackstone's lunch
menu, and its fame spread when a former
employee of the hotel won a national contest
with the recipe.
Other accounts hold that the Reuben's
creator was Arnold Reuben, the German owner
of the once-famous, now defunct Reuben's
Delicatessen in New York City, who,
according to an interview with Craig
Claiborne, invented the "Reuben special"
around 1914. The earliest references in
print to the sandwich are New York-based but
that is not conclusive evidence, though the
fact that the earliest, from a 1926 edition
of Theatre Magazine, references a "Reuben
special", does seem to take its cue from
Arnold Reuben's menu.
A version of that story is related by
Bernard Sobel in his book Broadway
Heartbeat: Memoirs of a Press Agent and
claims that the sandwich was an
extemporaneous creation for Marjorie Rambeau
inaugurated when the famed Broadway actress
visited the Delicatessen one night when the
cupboards were particularly bare. Some
sources name the actress as Annette Seelos,
and note that the original "Reuben special"
sandwich did not contain corned beef or
sauerkraut and was not grilled; still other
versions give credit to Alfred Scheuing,
Reuben's chef, and say he created the
sandwich for Reuben's son, Arnold Jr., in