Home of Original Muffuletta
This old Italian grocery store on Decatur in the French Quarter has been around for 108 years. It claims to be the in inventor of the Muffuletta sandwich!
Grocery and Lunch Counter
The store was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. This now touristy area, was then a residential area near the Farmer's Market. Lupo created the Muffuletta as an easy take-out food to sell the Sicilian truck drivers who sold produce at the market.
Tons of tourists flock here today, but there were obvious locals as well. The sweet man in the hat was speaking Italian to the man behind the counter. The shop is owned today by family of the original owner.
Best to Know What You Want
Luckily it was 3pm when we ordered, so crowds were down. I've read that the staff at Central does not have a ton of patience for tourists who are confused about ordering.
We ordered just one sandwich at the counter then took it to a little eating counter in the back. The lower walls were lined with shelves of imported bottles, jars and cans. The upper walls were plastered in faded travel posters. My favorite was the image of Sicilian Knight puppets.
One Sandwich for Four
Hard to believe one circular sandwich and a couple sodas from the machine could serve 4 adults, but it was a perfect late afternoon treat! The soft Italian bread was stuffed with salami, ham, provolone and topped with a spread of chopped green and black olives and I'm guessing some garlic and anchovies!
People Encounter at the Counter!
Part of the fun experience was watching others enjoy their first Muffuletta as well.
We sat across from a few travelers from Canada who had noticed our picture taking. Realizing they had failed to take a photo before devouring their meal, we allowed them to photograph ours. They had big plans to stop again in the morning to pick up carryouts on their way to the airport. One of them had a Sicilian grandmother in Canada, who was going to be very excited to receive a sandwich!
Short and Sweet
We were out of there in less than 30 minutes. (A little rushed due to parking meter issues) But I was pleased to see one more local purchasing his sandwich as we stood to depart. He left right before us, swinging his bag as he strutted down the walk with his snappy hat and cane. I wonder how many Muffulettas this man has eaten?
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.