As of this morning (2014-02-21), there’s enough hot Italian sausage on hand at Paulie Gee’s (60 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn) to make two or three “Kuban” pies. It comprises tomato sauce, Romano, Parmesan, mozzarella, hot Italian sausage, shaved red onion. (Sausage and onion is my favorite topping combo.)
“The Kuban” was on the Paulie Gee menu for a hot minute when the joint first opened. It was the first (and only time) anyone’s ever named a dish after me and I was extremely honored. But it didn’t last long. Paulie’s preferred sausage is sweet Italian fennel sausage (he doesn’t like things too spicy), so ordering and prepping two kinds became a hassle and the Kuban was dropped. I don’t blame him. It was the only pie with this topping, and it’s inefficient to prep a topping that’s a unitasker. Plus, I could imagine that with Paulie’s pun-heavy menu, people would just assume he had purposely misspelled “Cuban” and that it would be a riff on the Cubano sandwich.
The funny thing is that I probably threw out “hot Italian sausage” as the specified sausage when sweet fennel sausage would have been just fine—and in fact I prefer fennel sausage (I just didn’t know it at the time). In the end, I came up with the Famous Original A anyway, which is better than the Kuban and has a better (punny) name.
But if you want a Flashback Friday to the early days of Paulie Gee’s, here you go!