Lisa Hemenway's Muffaletta at Fresh

Lisa Hemenway's Muffaletta at Fresh

Lisa Hemenway has decoded the Muffaletta.

The signature street food of New Orleans and a treasured Southern tradition, the Muffaletta is the undisputed King of all subs. Take a loaf of bread, stuff it with a pound of cold cuts (salami, ham, etc), pile on another half pound of cheese and slather it with olive spread and you’ve got a whole lotta, well, lotta.

Personally I’ve never understood why people go so gaga for what usually amounts to a choke-inducing amount of meat stuffed between a carb-coma. With olives. But they do.

This version is different. And maybe it’s the hint of California that makes it so tasty. At Fresh, Hemenway takes a loaf of Ciabbata (already better), adds layers of Sopressata, salami, clove-smoked ham and smoked turkey, then adds a few slices of provolone and smoked mozzarella with artichoke heart spread (yes, sacrilege but it tastes good) and moist olive tapenade.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better, more moist version of this super sammie anywhere. And we’ve consulted a number of NOLA expats. Hemenway serves it daily for lunch, grilled in her wood-fired oven. More than enough for two. Possibly a whole family, $12.95.

Fresh By Lisa Hemenway: 755 Mountain Hawk Way, Santa Rosa, 595-1048