Deli dishes up Owens sandwich


In ancient Rome, you knew you'd made it when Caesar handed you a laurel wreath.

In modern Annapolis, you know you've arrived when Ted the deli guy gives you a salami sandwich once named after Louis L. Goldstein.

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens received one of the state capital's highest honors recently when Ted Levitt, owner of the legendary Chick and Ruth's Delly on Main Street, named a sandwich after her.

Added to the restaurant's menu is No. 8: "The County Executive Janet S. Owens. Salami, Swiss cheese and onion on rye. $4.99."

Although a mouthful of salami and raw onions doesn't fit Owens' image as the prim "Snow White" of county politics, the newly elected Democrat said she is flattered to be assigned a sandwich once named after the late state comptroller, who died in July after 40 years in office.

"Anything but bologna, that was my thinking," said Owens.

In a tradition as old as the 34-year-old deli, the name of Owens' sandwich will be posted above the grill beside the names of dozens of other political luminaries.

There's No. 14, the Bill Clinton, turkey breast, lettuce and tomato on whole wheat. And there's the No. 25, state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a steak and cheese sandwich with fried onions.

Because the deli's management doesn't want to hurt the feelings of its favorite customers, it has been slow to take down pictures of sandwiches named after politicians who lost in the fall election.

Still hanging is the plaque for former County Executive John G. Gary, whom Owens beat in November.

Unlike Owens' sandwich, Gary's fits his popular image. The No. 41, the John Gary Mushroom Burger, features two beef patties, bacon and Swiss cheese on a kaiser roll.

The 42-year-old owner of the deli founded by his parents, Chick and Ruth Levitt, in 1965, said it is not unheard of for his sandwiches to be slightly out of sync with the politicians' tastes.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has a baked potato with broccoli named after him.

"Glendening eats a pastrami and Swiss normally when he comes in here," Levitt said, laughing, "But a few years back, his wife wanted him to eat more healthy, so she chose the baked potato and broccoli."

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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