The old market (est. 1937) employs a phalanx of highly skilled butchers who stand elbow to elbow in a cold room situated at the rear of the grocery. Their proteins are masterfully cut.
It’s like ancient Greece in that old-school butchery.
We buy all of our groceries from Zuppardo’s, and on a recent run from the 9th Ward to Metairie we were hungry and at loose ends after buying a buggy full of eggplant, Maggi, cabbage, pork steaks and booze.Time to hit the market diner.
Zuppardo’s restaurant operation is tiny. The narrow counter at the front of the store can host four diners with room for a couple more if they don’t mind standing.
The cafe puts out the best $3 hamburger in the region but we’re in the mood for roast beef and have high hopes that the cook can match up with the old beef man who plates up ethereal slow-cooked beef stuffed into Leidenheimer loaves.at Charlie’s down in Violet.
She can’t.This meat is old.
There’s something that happens to beef when it’s not aged properly. It gets fatigued and develops a most unpleasant funk. In spite of being sliced parchment thin, this meat is chewy and has been doused with a gravy that tastes like it came from a packet.
Dressed at Zuppardo’s means mayo, lettuce, and tomato, as it should. The roll is baked in-house and stands among the finest in Metairie.
We eat half and immediately order a meatball version to get the bad taste out of our mouth. Family matriarch Francis’ Italian recipe is still the house standard even though she passed back in the 70s.
At first bite all the previous sins are forgotten and for just a moment we’re sitting at a food stall in Camporeale, Sicily where the family originated.
5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd
telephone (504) 887-1150
We penned a review of Zuppardo’s meatball po boy here
Violet is 15 minutes from New Orleans, and at Charlie’s you can have one of the best roast beef po boys in the region