St.Louis Magazine/ Kevin A. Roberts
Muffuletta-lovers can find a New Orleans specialty right in St. Louis’ Blues City Deli. A trip to New Orleans inspired owner Vince Valenza to “marry food and music together” and open an Italian sandwich shop in 2004. Of course, he added several of these Sicilian-influenced submarine-style sandwiches to his menu, including the “Valenza Special Muffuletta.”
What makes it so special? Well, the focaccia-like bread is toasted and filled with layers of Genoa salami, smoked ham, mortadella, provolone, and mozzarella. As a finishing touch, the sandwich is topped with homemade olive salad. This signature item is huge and packed with protein; the entire thing feeds two people and costs $13.50. A half size is also available for $6.95 for those who aren’t as hungry.
The sandwich is as good as any muffuletta outside New Orleans, St. Louis magazine determined. They noted that Blues City places a slice of provolone between the bread and the salad instead of brushing olive oil on the bread slice. Nevertheless, the olive salad dressing is “first rate” and the salad is “chunky” and “not the least bit mushy.”
Other muffuletta options include “The Carmelo,” which is stacked with salami, roast beef, smoked ham, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and Italian vinegar oil. Another choice is the “St. Louie Primo,” which features layers of salami, capicolla, mortadella, pepperoni, provolone, tomato, onion, and Italian vinegar oil.
Those who can’t make it to St. Louis right away can make Valenza’s muffuletta at home. This, however, is only a temporary solution. Sitting at a table next to a brick wall of jazz posters, and biting into the muffuletta while live blues fills your ears— that is the full experience.
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