One of the things New Orleans is known for is the Muffaletta. And perhaps no place is known more for their Muffaletta than Cochon Butcher in the Lower Garden District. The place is pretty much an unvegan paradise, evidenced by the fact that the word “cochon” quite literally means “pig” in French. It’s also an offshoot of the more famous Cochon (without the Butcher) that it shares a wall with.
Walking in, I was immediately put into a meat trance. Cured meats and sausages seemed to be everywhere and the menu itself was a daunting task. I knew I wanted the Muffaletta, but I thought it would be crazy to limit myself to just that. In the end, I went with the Mac ‘n’ Cheese and I stand by the decision despite the lack of meatiness. It was delicious, with a couple of cheeses inside and baked hard to get a bit of natural crispiness at the top.
As for the Muffaletta, it was said to have come with “house meats” and olive salad. I didn’t bother asking what the meats were because they were obviously going to be great, but I did bother to order without the olive salad. Unfortunately, Cochon Butcher turns out to be one of those pretentious places that is unwilling to change any orders, even if it just means removing something. So I was stuck with the olive salad and it also turned out I was stuck with some pickles that came with the sandwich. This did not bode well for the Muffaletta, which by the way, was served on a huge sesame bun.
In terms of the meat, the Muffaletta was pretty awesome, carrying a range of cured tastes. And there was a nice bonus of perfectly melted provolone to go along with it. On the other hand, the olive salad (which was really more of an olive tapenade), was kind of brutal on the sandwich. Olives are simply not good and they brought the sandwich down with them. Without them the Muffaletta would have been amazing, but with them it was, well, meh.
I know I should respect a restaurant for wanting their food to come out the way it was conceived, but at Cochon Butcher I guess I would have been better off ordering something that didn’t include some crappy ingredient. It’s a shame too, because there is no excuse for someone with a meat blog to leave a place like Cochon Butcher feeling disappointed.