ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Luis Martinez said he stopped by a Subway shop in a Walmart on South Semoran Boulevard late Tuesday night to get something to eat. He said he ordered a Philly cheese steak the way he always does. ”American cheese, onions and ketchup,” said Martinez. Lawrence Ordone was working behind the counter. ”He wants ketchup on the Philly cheese steak and I have never put — we don’t even have ketchup at Subway — I’ve never put ketchup on anybody’s sandwich,” said Ordone. Martinez said he didn’t want the sandwich without the ketchup and that a man next to him in line offered to buy the sandwich. Ordone said that Martinez mouthed off at the man. Martinez denied saying anything, but neither he or Ordone disputed what they said happened next.
“That’s when I flew off the handle,” said Ordone. ”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 said, ‘Let’s go, fight me like a man,’” said Ordone. ”I was scared. Next thing, I’m thinking a gun’s going to come out,” said Martinez. Ordone said he blocked the customer so he couldn’t get out. ”He threatened to kill me in front of my wife,” said Martinez. Ordone said he was fired from his job Wednesday, and that he is baffled the confrontation started over something as simple as ketchup. ”There’s ketchup three aisles down. 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,” said Ordone.
Listen I’m no Philly cheesesteak expert or anything. I don’t live in Philly (thank God) and I don’t get in arguments with people over Pats or Genos. I don’t debate real cheese vs. cheez whiz, or fight about getting the works or leaving it plain. I’ll order one maybe once, twice a month however I’m in the mood for it and crush it then forget about it. Having said that even I know that only a certified lunatic would put ketchup on his Philly cheesesteak. Just doesn’t belong on a true cheesesteak and Lawrence Ordone knows that. I mean you don’t become the head sandwich maker at Subway for nothing. You know the ins and outs of every gourmet sandwich and how it’s prepared and how it’s meant to be enjoyed, and as a customer you kind of have to leave it in the hands of the expert to make your sandwich ordering experience as proficient as it needs to be. Start insisting on ingredients that don’t belong and well that’s a good way to deeply offend a culinary genius and get your ass beat up and thrown into the chips and cookies display.