As most avid-dining Houstonians know or might know, mufaletta consists of the readily imported or sourced cold cuts like Genoa salami, ham, and mortadella along with sliced Provolone and Swiss cheese that’s topped with an olive salad. This distinctive condiment traditionally consists of a lengthy mix of ingredients: chopped green olives with pimientos, Kalamata olives, cauliflower, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, capers, pepperoncini, water, vinegar, salt, spices, garlic, and olive oil, all left to marinate for a while before use. Maybe more distinctive is the bread that gives the sandwich its name, the mutaletta, a roughly 10-inch in diameter sturdy loaf that topped with sesame seeds that forms an appropriate base for the oily and vinegary olive salad to seep into.
I mentioned in a post about my passion for the sandwich and a friend replied that I needed to try it at the Ragin’ Cajun. As long as I’ve been dining there, I had never thought to order a muffaletta there, it’s usually a shrimp po boy and maybe a cup of gumbo. I’m very glad I got the heads up. The Ragin’ Cajun does a terrific job with the muffaletta, even better than at the Central Grocery, at least for me. Called the Special Muffalotta on the menu, the individually sized half a muffaletta is $10. Toasted and served a bit warm, the fine-quality ingredients seem better than in most version of the sandwich and the meats, slightly melted cheeses and the bracing olive salad meld together extremely well, maybe helped by some of the cooking heat. The bread is properly robust, tasty and fresh. It makes for a great start and base for the sandwich. It goes from there, with the slight crunch of the warmed loaf, the vinegary touch of the vegetable mix and soft, hearty slices of proteins, making for a delicious bite. It’s one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a while, and another reason to visit the Ragin’ Cajun.
4302 Richmond (west of Weslayan), 77027, (713) 623-6321
9600 Westheimer (at Gessner), 77063, (832) 251-7171