A Taste Of New Orleans Is Back!

So when he helped create the newest Taste of New Orleans feature menu at Grille 26, he did plenty of research, including literally shipping a muffaleta sandwich from the Big Easy to Sioux Falls.

“It’s kind of like the Juicy Lucy in Minnesota — multiple places claim to have made the original muffaleta — and we were able to order from one of them,” Jackson said.

In creating a menu, Josh Jackson likes to start with the food’s roots.

“I like to see where it came from and what’s popular,” said Jackson, director of culinary at Vanguard Hospitality.

The sandwich arrived from Central Grocery & Deli in New Orleans, and once the Vanguard team had tried it, an element of the iconic sandwich became part of the Grille 26 menu.

“We’re actually using the Central Grocery olive mix from New Orleans,” Jackson said. “Once we got to try the original, we knew we needed this in ours.”

The Grille 26 muffaleta includes the Italian sausage mortadella, Genoa salami, applewood smoked ham, olive oil, smoked provolone and Swiss on Breadico’s sesame Italian bread.

Another sandwich creation inspired by Jackson’s research is the roast beef po’boy, which is prepared in a classic New Orleans fashion with braised chuck roast from South Dakota-based Hedrick Ranch.

“The roast beef po’boy in New Orleans seemed similar to something we do here in South Dakota — the hot beef combination — but they have a version that’s roast beef pulled and cooked a long time, shredded and dipped in gravy and served on po’boys, so I thought that was unique.”

Both sandwiches come with Zapp’s original New Orleans kettle chips in various flavors.

And that’s just the start of the menu. You’ll also find classic favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya and bananas Foster. Here’s a closer look:

“I personally really love Cajun food,” Jackson said. “There’s some items that didn’t make it into the menu this year that I’ll be working on for next year.”

You can try the Taste of New Orleans menu until early April.