The Central Grocery in New Orleans is on my must eat list and the must eat food is the muffaletta. Neither business or pleasure has taken me to New Orleans so I can only guess what the real deal tastes like. I've made muffaletta before but was it even close to the genuine article? With muffaletta on the mind, I stopped in at NOLA. How would it be?
Everything was looking fine as the waitress set the plate down. One bite and one word and a word I never use came to mind: Briny! With an exclamation point!
The olive salad was definitely an olive salad, like eating nothing but chopped olives. It wasn't garlicky as I expected. It wasn't spicy like giardiniera as I expected. It was layered on the bottom slice rather than on top on the cheese which was unexpected.
The meats (mortadella, soppressetta, and prosciutto) and the provolone fought each other to stand out as the dominant flavor and texture rather than compliment and create a synergistic feast. Adding to the brininess was a tenacious coating of coarse salt on the focaccia.
Something isn't right when the fruit salad was the only food on the plate that I really wanted to eat. Ten bucks was too much for the sandwich.
NOLA is an nicely setup middling restaurant. Service was good. It would be unfair to judge NOLA solely on one entree however a sandwich is pretty hard to mess up. Still, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say I chose the wrong item.
Bathroom rating: Didn't stop in
24 Market SquarePittsburgh, PA 15222