There are plenty of tall tales and legends associated with the New Orleans French Quarter. Most are rooted in enough truth to make them believable. With others there is just no way to really know. Either way it leaves you a little spooked. For at least ten years I have been told the story of the “Jazz” sandwich. Spawned in the back of a little Quarter grocery store called the VertiMarte, this mythical Manna of the Gods is said to put you under its spell with one bite.
Oh, my gosh! What is a “Jazz”? you ask while goose bumps chase up your arms. This paranormal po’boy is one of several specialty sandwiches conjured up by the back-of-the-store sandwich magicians. This one is actually called “All that Jazz”. It is a medley of grilled ham, turkey & shrimp, Swiss & American cheese accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, on grilled French bread with the VerdiMarte’s own original “Wow Sauce”.
Finding myself on the corner of Royal Street and Governor Nicholls last evening, I decided to do my own version of a myth buster experiment and brave this 100 plus year old establishment. With my trusty sidekick by my side (one of the perpetuators of this tale) we armed ourselves with two Barq’s Root beers, a bag of Zapp’s Cajun Crawtators and ordered one “All that Jazz” to split. The tag team strategy was highly recommended for a light weight like myself.
I am here to bear witness, the “Jazz” lives up to the legend and then some. The spell is definitely working because I’m thinking a “Jazz” for breakfast sounds amazing. Despite the sign over the deli counter saying “Sssh- The Quarter’s Best Kept Secret”, stick a needle in my eye, this is one secret I have to tell.
By Sharon Denise Talbot
VertiMarte 1201 Royal Street, French Quarter, New Orleans
Open 24 hrs, 7 days a week
phone 525-4767 | fax 566-0948