NEW ORLEANS -- There are some iconic shops in the 100 block of St. Charles Avenue (near Canal). There is Rubenstein Bros. clothing store, Meyer the Hatter and of course Serio's Poboys and Deli.
Serio's has been serving up great sandwiches for almost 60 years. This sandwich shop is now operated by Mike Serio, who is the third generation of Serio to serve up all the sandwich classics in the CBD.
We stopped in to talk sandwiches, LSU and family with Mike, and we also got to sample some of the grub that has kept the counter and tables busy at Serio's for over five decades.
Some of that grub includes two sandwiches that are synonymous with New Orleans, the poboy and the muffuletta.
Serio's makes a mean muffuletta. Many places in town offer this sandwich. The Central Grocery in the French Quarter is the creator, but Serio's version is a real treat. Serio's is so well-known for the muffuletta that Food Network chose them to face off in a muffuletta throwdown with famed chef Bobby Flay.
Serio's version of the sandwich was so good that they actually topped Flay and cemented their place as a go to spot for this New Orleans classic.
Mike Serio tells us that their muffuletta is pretty standard. It is textbook in its ingredients: round, seeded Italian bread with ham, hard salami, mortadella, provolone cheese and swiss cheese and a generous portion of olive salad.
Mike tells us that there are two distinctive things about the olive salad used in Serio's version of the muffuletta. First, Serio's olive salad is chopped a bit on the thick end of the spectrum. Second, when the olive salad is applied to the bun it is pressed between the top and bottom bun.
Mike tells us that this does two things. It holds the salad in place and it transfers the juices from the olive salad to both sides of the sandwich. Serio's also does a seedless version of the muffuletta on French bread, which looks a lot like a poboy.
Speaking of French bread, Serio's does a great job with the poboy.
When it comes to this legendary sandwich there are two versions that are the barometer of what a poboy should be. Those are the fried shrimp poboy and the roast beef poboy. The fine folks at Serio's served us up a roast beef poboy and it certainly didn't disappoint.
It was a generous helping of tender roast beef slathered in a hearty brown gravy and dressed with lettuce tomato and mayonnaise. This sandwich was delicious. it tends to be a bit messy (especially once that gravy permeates the bread) but the mess is totally worth it.
The flavors are bold and rich and it truly eats like a meal in a sandwich. So conquer your hunger and celebrate New Orleans sandwich history with a stop at Serio's Poboys and Deli.