As the guests poured in to New Orleans for the wedding my tour guide duties grew. On another day in the french quarter after walking around with over ten family members everyone was hungry. Too hungry to sit in a restaurant and wait. So I suggested Central Grocery for their famous Muffuletta sandwich.
Many cities have their own ‘must have’ sandwich. While in Philadelphia, you must try the Philly Cheese steak, in Montreal, the Montreal smoked beef in Paris perhaps the Jambon-beurre (or the falafels in the Marais one could argue) and in New Orleans, the Muffuleta. Central Grocery is home of the first Muffuleta. In fact, this is the very place that the first Muffuleta was created. Many other shops would soon follow the trend and make their own version of the Muffuleta. Now many New Orleans restaurants carry it as a staple on their menu.
What is a Muffeleta you ask? It is a sandwich consisting of Sicilian sesame bread stuffed with layers of Genoa Salami, Ham, Pepperoni, Provolone, emmentaler and mortadella cheese followed by a big scoop of the special olive salad.
Once you enter the shop you may think that you have entered the wrong place. It is in most part an old Italian deli serving Muffuleta’s at the counter. To get your hands on one of these New Orlean’s wonders, you must form a line on the left side of the stand.
Once at the counter, you have very limited options: you can either get a whole Muffuleta for $14.50 or half a Muffuleta for $7.50. The sandwiches are all premade and sitting behind the counter. Once you order and pay you take your sandwich to the back of the deli where there are counter top seatings and a vending machine to buy a drink.
For a family of ten- 3 full muffuletas were more than enough. In fact we had left overs which we savoured for later.
The family all enjoyed the sandwich which was not only filling but cheap. I myself am not a big fan of the Muffuleta. I find it to be too oily and the olive dressing too salty. I can taste the oil with every bite. I have also tried the Muffuleta at other places in the New Orleans area and found it to be similar in taste and generally not to my liking. But don’t take my word for it. Most people love this New Orleans sandwich and I am sure Central Grocery takes pride in creating their very own famous sandwich.