The rollout of Jennie and Bryan Enloe’s new restaurant at the Minnesota State Fair took a weird turn after their controversially-named sandwich was announced Tuesday morning. The Hideaway Speakeasy’s Jewish-themed sandwich of honey-smoked salmon, cucumbers capers and cream cheese with fresh dill on pumpernickel was originally called The Swindler Sandwich. The name was changed less than three hours after unveiling on “New Food Day” to the Swing-Dance Sandwich.
“It was never our intention to harm anyone,” Enloe told TC Jewfolk. “We’re a speakeasy. Picture the 1920s mob boss, gangster, roaring ’20s, flappers. All that. We’re all about fun. It was a mistake. An oversight.”
In a statement sent to TC Jewfolk, the State Fair Marketing & Communications Department said they “Regret that the name of the Swindler Sandwich has been negatively received,” and that the vendor’s response to the controversy “was immediate.”
Other Hideaway items on the New Foods list include Mobster’s Caviar and the Fall Guy Breakfast Panini. The proposed full menu currently includes items with names such as the Bootlegger and Gambler sandwiches, the Boss Man panini, and appetizers such as the Olive Underground, Loan Shark Cuterie, Bugsy’s Brie Plate and Capone’s Crostini.
“My first reaction was ‘heartbroken,'” Enloe said. “The Swindler was meant not to be [anti-Semitic].”
Enloe and Brienna Schuette, who is a representative of the Enloes, said no one from the State Fair looked at the menu and called out the owners for the controversial name.
“We didn’t realize connotation of the ingredients with the name,” said Schuette. “There was no conversation about it.”
Said Enloe: “We did everything we could to pull it down with tail between our legs. Today I see it as Jewish. Before I saw it as an awesome sandwich. It’s a great combination. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I’m just trying to open a new business.”
In the State Fair’s statement, they said: “We deeply apologize that we and the vendor didn’t realize the negative connotation of the sandwich name. Please know that, while regrettable, this mistake was completely unintended.”