HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

Where's the best muffaletta now?

Will be in NO next month. I've always enjoyed the muffalettas at the Central Grocery, but am now reading that they may have slipped. Where would you go now for a great muffa? Needs to be near the French Quarter..is Central Grocery still great, or are there better options?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I was always partial to serio's, but then again my apartment was on the same block so that may have had a big hand in it.

    6 Replies
    1. re: twyst

      I give the nod to NorJoe's. Central does have the better bread though.

      1. re: CharlieH

        I agree...Central would be good if they'd go back to putting some meat and cheese (there's an idea!) in the middle..nowadays it looks like that thin rock striation that is supposed to be the sign of the dinosaurs' extinction.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            Central Grocery has plummeted. Didn't really care for Nor Joe's either. How about Tag's out in Chalmette?

            http://chowpapi.com/?p=660

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              I must say you get around when you here chef. Let us know if you try Taq's. I know this sounds strange, but has anyone tried Rouses? According to the Perrone and Sons website, Rouses is serving the original Progress Grocery Muffaletta. Its funny, for all the hype, few local establishments seem to carry it. Johnny's has one, I haven't tried it, but the ones sitting in the case don't look so good.

              -----
              Muffaletta's
              69305 Highway 21, Covington, LA 70433

              1. re: CharlieH

                I've ordered mini muffs from rouses several times for parties, and they've been very good. I haven't had the big ones from there.

      2. Napoleon House

        -----
        Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
        500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        6 Replies
        1. re: bronwen

          Yessss. You have to like 'em warm and toasty, but Napoleon House is my fave too.

          -----
          Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
          500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. re: midnightlawnmower

            +2 for Napoleon House! So very delicious!

            -----
            Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
            500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          2. re: bronwen

            I'm going to have to try these. I've seen a Muffaletta place behind Lakeside Mall, just down from Morning Call. Has anyone eaten there?

            1. re: bronwen

              +4 or whatever # it is now for NAPOLEON HOUSE! Damn, now I really, really want one.

              1. re: bronwen

                Hi, bronwen:

                On this recco, I had a Napoleon House muff yesterday. It was terrible. I had a Central Grocery the day before; it was mediocre. Both cool places, but not because the food is good. The muff that slayed me was at Cafe Maspero's. 4x thicker than NH, 2x CG. There may be better, but I haven't found it.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

              2. Frank's Restaurant which is two doors down from Central grocery on Decatur Street is excellent. Their olive salad is the best I've ever had.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BigJoe

                  Glad to hear, as back in the day, when Frank's M-I-L was cooking, their's was by far the best in New Orleans. Now that the kids have taken over, was not sure.

                  Good new, at least to me,

                  Hunt

                  1. re: BigJoe

                    /agree - just got back from NOLA this afternoon, and did a tour-de-muffuletta. Couple places used Central's olive salad (per the wait staff), but I promised not to repeat it that they told me. I like their olive salad best. haven't had anyone's outside the general Quarter area though. Wish I could get some real muffuletta bread here in Georgia.

                  2. I have been to New Orleans many times in the last 30 years and have some wonderful friends there and in all those years no one has ever suggested to get a muffaletta until last year,My son's friend said we had to get one in the Quarter at a place famous for them. It was awful,it is not a good sandwich and I will never waste the time chewing one again.I suggest never eating one there are so many better choices in The Big Easy .I think Oyster Po' Boy's may be NOLA's true specialty sandwich.

                    22 Replies
                    1. re: phamus

                      "It was awful,it is not a good sandwich and I will never waste the time chewing one again.I suggest never eating one"

                      Sorry you feel that way, but millions of people disagree with you.

                      1. re: phamus

                        First of all, it's tough to rely on someone's opinion who has visited New Orleans MANY times in the past 30 year and has never heard of the popularity of a Muffuletta. Also, the question of this forum is not whether or not you like a Muffuletta. Lastly, there could be many different reasons you didn't like it, including the restaurant that made it, the type of olive salad, you don't eat meat, etc. If you were trying to add anything positive to this forum you would at least include the name of the restaurant where you tried it and/or why you didn't like it.

                        1. re: BigJoe

                          Well said BigJoe! I am the op and in years past the muffalettas which I have had at the Central Grocery have been among the best sandwiches I've ever eaten. Thus having heard that they may have slipped really disappointed me since I'll be in NO next month; that's why I made this post! Regardless of what anyone says, even a good muffa is in my mind a great sandwich, and I am thankful for all the posts in response to my query.

                          1. re: josephnl

                            Central Grocery was my favorite growing up in N.O. in the 50's and 60's. In the 70's I had more than a few at Acy's. On a trip home last year I had what to me was one of the best muffs ever at Cohon Butcher: house cured meats, excellent salad and bread. Perhaps not exactly like those muffs of old. Perhaps better!

                            1. re: gumbolox

                              Yes to Cochon Butcher! So. Good.
                              A friend of mine called Central Grocery a few weeks ago about buying muff ingredients from them in bulk. The guy on the phone said they don't even use the original ingredients anymore (something about using genera-Swiss-cheeze instead of Emmentaler and cooked ham instead of capicola, or something along those lines). I've never had one from CG, so I can't say anything myself, but I prefer mine room temp or warm, and less pre-made.

                              -----
                              Cochon Butcher
                              930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              1. re: culinas

                                Because its tough to find a good Muffuletta outside of New Orleans, I've started making them at home. The type of bread is tough to find, but can be substituted with something close. You can also get the premade olive salad (I use Boscoli brand) that you can get at the grocery or online if it's not in your area.

                                1. re: BigJoe

                                  BigJoe, it's so easy to make your own olive salad.

                                  1. re: expatorleanian

                                    Expatorleanian, It's not the same. You obviously haven't tried Boscoli's olive salad. It's incredible! Also, much easier to buy it. I've heard many restaurants that serve muffulettas use this brand because it's the best.

                                    BigJoe

                                    1. re: BigJoe

                                      You are right about Boscoli, it is wonderful! There is an Italian deli where I live that makes their own bread and it's darn close to New Orleans loaves. I get a ham and Genoa salami, then take it home and put Boscoli in it. It's a pretty good substitute for a muff when I don't have time to get the ingredients.

                                      1. re: BigJoe

                                        For way too many years I lived in the Land Of No Olive Salad (and of course no muffaletta bread either), but I made a pretty good olive salad, exactly how I like it with lots of good olive oil, and made do with some kind of bread. Now that we've moved back to Nola, I'm pretty accustomed to my own olive salad.

                                        1. re: expatorleanian

                                          Every time I go in a grocery store up here in Maryland I scan the olive section for NOLA style olive salad. I thought I was crazy for doing it until, out of the blue, I found Boscoli at one Fresh Market! I practically bought the whole shelf.

                                          1. re: kukubura

                                            You can buy Boscoli online at www.boscoli.com. They have great recipes here also. I am addicted to using their olive salad on everything!

                                            1. re: kukubura

                                              I was amazed that we could get Boscoli olive salad here in rural Arkansas. But I guess we are just south enough.

                                      2. re: BigJoe

                                        After returning from my last trip to NOLA and after having The Napoleon House muffaletta, I had to try to re-create it at home. I found a recipe for the bread and an awesome olive salad recipe too(w/ chick peas). It was good, but it wasn't nearly as good as the one I had at Napoleon House. *Sigh*

                                    2. re: gumbolox

                                      Just remembered: Rio Mar serves an outstanding muffaletta. It's tiny and served warm-not traditonal in any sense but delicious just the same.

                                      I'm pretty sure it's only on the lunch menu.

                                      -----
                                      Rio Mar Restaurant
                                      800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                      1. re: gumbolox

                                        Interesting. Have not tried THAT one. I see that I must do it.

                                        Thank you,

                                        Hunt

                                      2. re: josephnl

                                        Going back, to when I did muffalettas more often, I was less a fan of Central Grocery, but that was then. I always went a few doors down, and had mine at Frank's Deli. Now, those were fabulous. In this forum, another poster mentioned Frank's again, but we have not done it, in far too long, and it has changed dramatically from the days, when we hung out there.

                                        In the end, it is all about personal tastes. One can quote many pages of a history book, but at the end of the day, if the patron prefers restaurant A, over restaurant B, that is their choice. Some like them cold, and some like them hot. Some like certain meats, and other like certain cheeses. And then, there IS the olive salad.

                                        Enjoy,

                                        Hunt

                                    3. re: phamus

                                      You, and your friends, must be a nest of Yankees........30 years and no muffaletta? Y'all ain't right in the head.....

                                      1. re: 7echo

                                        Very well said 7echo. I am the op, and although I've been to NO far fewer than 30 times (sad to say) there are some things about the city I miss dearly...yes, the muffalettas, oysters at the Acme, pralines from Aunt Sally's, beignets and coffee at the Cafe du Monde, jazz at Preservation Hall, gumbo, dinner at K Paul's, NOLA, Brennan's or Antoine's, jazz brunch at Commander's Palace, and on and on. Yep...I'm a tourist, but gosh what a place to visit as a food-loving tourist. Can't wait for my muffaletta (or 2) next month!

                                        -----
                                        Commander's Palace Restaurant
                                        1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                        Preservation Hall
                                        726 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA

                                        1. re: josephnl

                                          josephnl, YEAH U RITE! That is the best stuff there is. You left out a sack of hot boiled crawfish on the bayou, throw the shells in the water for the gators, please.....

                                      2. re: phamus

                                        Maybe I just missed it, but WHERE did you get that muffaletta?

                                        The restaurant/deli can make a world of difference.

                                        Thanks for the info,

                                        Hunt

                                      3. I don't know a place in New Orleans, but anyone visiting who's willing to take a ride on the interstate out to La Place, La. (with no traffic, about a 30 min drive) will find a huge muffaletta sandwich at Mabile's Meat Market for 12 bucks. Could easily feed four, or two if your really hungry. The sandwich is served warm and is downright orgasmic. The place would probably be in the "Dive" category on the triple D, food network, show, but the food is really and truly awesome. You can read a couple of reviews that sing it's praises better than I can at http://www.yelp.com/biz/mabile-meat-m... . I wish I could find such a great place somewhere in New Orleans near the French Quarter also. The only time I did purchase a muffaletta at Central Grocery it was dry as a witch's, well you know what.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: JFritsch62

                                          Here is my "typical tourist" two cents - I have had muffaletta's at Central, Progressive (RIP), Napolean House (heated) Bouchon and NorCal - all are a little different - liked them all. Of course I usually go to Central because when I visit I'm in the Quarter and have to rely on public transportation. Had a car last September so I tried NorCal; probably the largest of all the muffalettas I have tried and loaded with meat and cheese - almost needed help carrying it to the car :-) - plus the lady behind the counter was a lot nicer than the guys at Central.

                                           
                                          1. re: Bigshadetree

                                            Back when I lived in NOLA, Central Grocery's counter help, would later remind me of the Seinfeld "Soup Nazi." I was used to the excellent hospitality at Frank's, just a few doors down. Now, I do not know how things are, but from some other reports, not much different.

                                            Back then, there were two groceries, in the block (cannot remember the other one now), and Central always seemed to "cop an attitude." Still, I love browsing each, and picking up other items from the shelves, or the cases. Loved the aroma, and now, when the phase of the Moon is right, can still conjure up those smells. Sort of like similar shops in Rome.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              The other restaurant you were thinking of was Progress Grocery which is no longer around. I agree totally about the aroma at Central. It's incredible. My advice is visit Central for the aroma and Frank's Restaurant for the food. I've never had a problem with the counter help at either restaurant, but I guarantee Frank's has a better muffuletta.

                                              1. re: BigJoe

                                                Yes. Thank you for that "memory jog." Unfortunately, I need those more often, each year.

                                                Hunt