My quest to find the perfect substitute for the Central Grocery/French Quarter staple continues. Stop number two in our series “In Search Of…Muffuletta” has brought us to Jason’s Deli located in Clearwater Florida.
My first impression of Jason’s Deli is that it is very clean and well organized. The line to order moved quickly even with 5 people ahead of us. The same can be said for paying the cashier. The food was served to us at our table. The server wasn’t nice but not rude, he just couldn’t be bothered. It is summer in Florida, so I let it pass.
The muffuletta was the same size as the New Orleans version, gigantic, which is what I was looking for. It wasn’t plated for one person, it comes plated for sharing. That is fine since I shared it but for the visual of the size of the sandwich was then lost. I asked about it and the server, who didn’t want to be bothered with us, quipped “We don’t serve it that way,” and then walked off.
The sandwich looked great. The bread smelled like it was fresh out of the oven. The olive tapenade had a strong taste, almost over powering. The meat was stacked high and tasted fresh as well.
Overall, this sandwich would be perfect, if I had never had it before or from Central Grocery. It definitely ranks 2nd to the version served at The Sandwich On Main. The worst part will be that my theory still cannot be proven. There are one or two more places to try out in the Tampa Bay Area. If they don’t pan out, then I will be looking at shipping some from NOLA to my house. HAHAHAAH.