Panini Pete's, Fairhope
Panini Pete's lauded muffaletta, a traditional New Orleans sandwich, was inspired by the restaurant's flagship location in the French Quarter of downtown Fairhope. (There is also a Panini Pete's in the LoDa District of downtown Mobile.)
The muffaletta originated in the early 1900s at Central Grocery, a century-old Italian grocery store and sandwich shop in the New Orleans French Quarter. Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo created it for the Sicilian farmers who sold produce at the farmers market. Today, the muffaletta is considered the signature sandwich of New Orleans. The key ingredient of the dish is olive salad, a mixture of chopped black and green olives, pickled carrots, cauliflower and celery, marinated in oil and Italian seasonings.
Pete's Muffaletta Panino is made with the freshest ingredients available and served on rustic Italian bread. Mortadella (an Italian-style ham) and salami are sliced in-house and layered with fresh provolone and Swiss cheeses. The sandwich also boasts local tomatoes purchased every morning from a neighborhood vendor. In addition, the restaurant only uses the original Gambino's Italian olive salad from New Orleans. The combination, customers agree, is mouthwatering.