Started by her Italian grandfather, Agatha Fertitta has kept the Sicilian roots alive at Fertitta’s Delicatessen for close to 35 years. People come from all over the world just to try the famous Muffy sandwich, her dad created, but stay for the true southern hospitality that Agatha brings to the table.
The menu started with the Muffy, in 1960, by accident. Sam Fertitta started the first imported foods market in Shreveport and wanted to try out frozen Muffaletta bread from New Orleans. One of his regular customers, who worked at a downtown gas company, was the first to try the sandwich. He went to a holiday party that same night and told everyone that the sandwich from Fertitta’s was the best he ever had. They all lined up Monday morning and would not leave until they tried this new sandwich. So the Fertitta’s famous Muffy was born.
There is still the question; what is a Muffy? The Muffy is the Fertitta family’s version of the traditional Muffaletta. Served toasted, rather than cold, the Muffy is a combination of mustard, cold cut meats and cheeses on the best Muffaletta bread. The secret to his sandwich is the family’s secret recipe olive mix, which can be bought by the jar.
The menu today is a more than just the Muffy. I had the Centurion sandwich which consists of piled high Cajun roast beef, spicy pepper jack cheese, and a mild horseradish sauce which added just the right amount of heat. Paired with a classic Italian sweet, mint tea and a bag of Zapps potato chips, this meal was the perfect lunchtime treat.
From a small imported foods market to the restaurant that it is today, you can tell that the family has kept it as close to the original state as possible. Lining the walls, you will see the family history in letters and newspaper clippings that show the rise of the popularity of the Muffy and the beginning of the Fertitta family’s time in Sicily. Pictures of the family are hung between articles from Southern Living, Dallas Morning News, and dozens of other publications giving you the feeling you are in the living room of the Fertitta family home.
Fertitta’s is located at 1124 Farifield Ave., Shreveport, LA 71101. Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.