Sunday, February 14, 2010
Cafe Maspero (New Orleans) 02/10
With no prior knowledge anyone walking in here off the street could not have high expectations. A rough sign informs that it it cash only, it's very dim, made lighter by fiddling with the camera's sensitivity.
and the dark wooden furniture
is heavily scarred.
I hesitate to think what a bacterial swab off a table might grow. Yet it has a reputation for muffaletos, an invention of a Sicilian resident, in the early 1900's.
A muffaleto is, originally, layers of ham, sausage and melted provilone cheese topped by various pickled vegetables and olives. All this packed between two large slices of round Sicillian bread. There has been quite a lot of interpretation and now days they are usually served in a large bun but they remain extremely large and are often shared. Together with po boys they are very commonly eaten for lunch in New Orleans and are affectionately referred to as a Muff!
We started with a French onion soup
which was topped with a cap of melting cheese under which there was a typical soup which was not as sweet as it should have been had the onions been a bit more caramelized. For variety we tried both a hamburger
and a muff.
Both served with masses of chips and a small salad including pickled gherkin. These both were extremely tasty and probably provided enough calories, protein, carbs, fat and vitamins for a good days work! I was pretty surprised at how good they were. The pickles in the muff gave it an unusual taste very different from the usual meat and cheese sandwich. Best eaten in New Orleans! Soft drinks tea/coffee are bottomless which is common in American restaurants. I'd certainly like to see that here.
This is quite an cheap place to eat. About $7.5 for the hamburger and $8.5 for the muff. As I recall the soup was a mere $3.5.
Service is friendly and quite efficient.
All in all it was not bad but the place really is a dump.