Lawrence Ordone, a Sandwich Artist working in a Subway franchise in Florida, threatened Luis Martinez with a beating after he asked for ketchup on his Philly Cheesesteak. The basic elements of a real cheesesteak are: Thinly-sliced beef that's been chopped and cooked on a griddle and Cheez Whiz, stuffed into a long hoagie roll. American cheese can be used in place of Whiz (and Provolone in extreme situations), and grilled onions can be added to the beef, as well.
When Martinez asked for ketchup to be slathered on his sandwich, Ordone said he wouldn't do it. After some back and forth, Martinez started "mouthing off" to Ordone, and the situation heated up, surely headed for a physical conflict. Ordone was just making sure that Martinez knew the consequences of trying to mess with a classic
"He shoved a chair to the side, like knocked it down to come at me, and I said, 'This is going to be serious,'" said Martinez. "I was scared. Next thing, I'm thinking a gun's going to come out, and he threatened to kill me in front of my wife," said Martinez.
Cheesesteak expert Mikey Ilagan—the brains behind This Is Not A Cheesesteak—said that he often uses ketchup himself, but it's not a necessary element of the cheesesteak. "The ketchup is never behind the window where they're putting together the sandwiches. Even at the touristy places, ketchup is usually with the other condiments and really there for the french fries, but people use it anyway," said Ilagan. "I would find it pretty funny if he had read the site, and we had something to do with this situation."
The Subway in question is located in a supermarket, and Ordone gave him an option to ruin the sandwich on his own terms, but he wasn't about to do it for him.
"There's ketchup three aisles down," Ordone told Martinez. "You can go buy your own ketchup, and I promise to God, you can put as much as you want on it and nobody's going to say nothing."
Wow. Ordone's words exude the kind of passion Philly respects and responds to. And, it doesn't matter whether it's about sports or sandwiches, if you're ready to fight someone over a cheesesteak, you'll always have a place in our hearts and our city.
· Sandwich Artist Fired After Threatening Customer Over Ketchup [Gawker]
· All Cheesesteaks Coverage [~EPHI~]