“I always tell my kids to cut a sandwich in half right when you get it, and the first thought you should have is somebody else. You only ever need half a burger.”
― Louis C.K.
For a week in New Orleans I was walking back and forth from the Writing Marathon location in the French Quarter to my son’s house in Treme. I noticed a little place on the corner of Royal and Governor Nicholls Street called the Verti Marte. It wasn’t much to write home about, a tiny little bodega, but I thought it might be a good place to pick up groceries on the way home. My son, Lee, used to live near there so I asked him about it.
“Verti Marte? Oh hell yes. We have to go eat there.”
That’s good enough for me – when he had some time off of work, we drove down, parked in Faubourg Marigny and walked back to the place.
Verti Marte is a tiny spot, crammed with stuff – there is barely room to walk and no room to pass another person in the narrow aisles. It is open 24/7 and, although unknown and ignored by tourists, is an oasis of delicious usefulness to the people that live in the French Quarter.
On one wall are two large pieces of plywood that protected the windows after Katrina, covered with spray painted messages begging the Verti Marte to reopen.
The entire back wall, behind a long glass counter, is occupied by the extensive menu. I have never seen so much offered by such a small spot. I ignored the long lists of salads, soups, entrees, and wraps and concentrated on the sandwiches.
Sandwiches – French Bun
Ham & Ch.
Shrimp & Oyster
Tam’s French Fri
All That Jazz
Philly Cheese Steak
Country Fried Stk
Ernies Powboy – Thanks Ernie
One day, at the Writing Marathon, someone had read a piece that they had written on the eternal question, “Can one person eat an entire Muffaletta in one sitting?” Ever since I heard that, I wanted one.
I didn’t want to answer the question that day, so Lee and I split one – and it was enough.