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Keep Houston Press Free
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The Magical World of New Orleans's Central Grocery

We recently visited New Orleans. A friend requested we bring back a bottle of olive spread from a little Italian convenience store located at 923 Decatur Street. We had never visited Central Grocery, but we promised to come back with the spread, assuming we could locate the iconic store sooner or later on the trip. But one thing led to another, and as the end of our stay approached, we still hadn't come across it.

We decided to go check out the French Quarter. It was cold and windy, and we ended up getting blasted by rain while checking out the market located on the lower end of the Quarter. We headed up the road soaking wet and were just about to take a taxi when we decided to run over to the other end of the street and check out a few stores. After walking a few blocks in the cold NOLA rain, we noticed this sign in the window: Fernet Branca. Ah! Fernet Branca! We ran through the door, and lo and behold, we were inside Central Grocery.

It felt like traveling through Alice's rabbit hole into a magical world of Italian imports and incredible muffulettas. We picked up one muffuletta and a bottle of olive spread for our lucky friend and went on our way. Next time we visit New Orleans, Central Grocery will be on our itinerary.

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