SANDWICH REVIEW #1: Gioia’s Deli


I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some pretty cool places in my quarter-century of existence. In fact, just within this past year I set foot in Denver, Miami, Louisville, Chicago, Las Vegas and a handful of islands in the Caribbean. I enjoy the hell out of traveling; Waiting out a delay with a beer and a friend at the airport bar. Exploring unfamiliar city streets. Sinking $80 into a single dinner. (That ribeye was definitely worth it, though.)

Of course there will always be things we miss while we are away from home. Some people yearn for their beds. Others, for clothes that they haven’t already worn three times in four days. And some people just miss the cozy feeling of being home. As for me, there’s always one thing I seem to miss when I’m away from home for a time:

Deli Sandwiches.

There are few things in this world that are more satisfying to me than a good deli sandwich. And I happen to think that St. Louis has some very respectable sandwich shops, if one knows where to look. Luckily for me, I have a brand new platform via this blog to share my sandwich hot takes with all of you. So let’s jump in with both feet: here’s sandwich review #1.

Vendor: Gioia’s Deli, 1934 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO

Sammie: Hot Salami & Hot Roast Beef (aka “The Big Al”)

Bread: Garlic Cheese on French Bread (Tosted)

Dine-In/Carryout: Carryout

Sandwiches can be a sensitive issue. Debate over the title of the River City’s best sammie has led to complete, purple-in-the-face-angry screaming matches amongst my friends, as silly and barbaric as that sounds. That’s why for sandwich review #1 I chose to review a shop with unquestionable STL sandwich prestige. To all my future sandwich review recipients, take notes here.

Gioia’s Deli is your textbook mom-and-pop kind of lunch eatery. Nestled at the corner of Daggett and Macklind Avenues, Gioia’s stands at the same exact location as it did when it first opened its doors in 1918. A staple of “The Hill” neighborhood, Gioia’s is blistering with Italian heritage, as evidenced by the Italian flag mural at the store’s entryway. The fact that it’s just a baseball-toss across the street from the notable Berra Park makes the ambiance all the more real. And we haven’t even gotten to the meat yet.


Gioia’s is famous for its “hot salami”–which is cut in thick splices more like a sausage than a traditional lunch meat. For those wanting the full experience, I would recommend trying the Hot Salami & Roast Beef as I did this past weekend. 


  • Famous “Hot Salami”
  • Thin-cut Italian beef
  • Toasted garlic cheese bread
  • Pepper cheese
  • Giardiniera spread
  • Mayo (add on)

Tasting Notes

The flavor I notice first is the tempered zest of the hot salami. Seasoned to perfection, the meat seems to escalade in taste with each passing bite. The bread is crunchy and fresh. While biting into the center of my first half, the pepper cheese now dominates the taste buds, but only for a moment. The next bite couples the sweet-spicyness of salami with the savory goodness of cheese melted on top of roast beef. Perfection. The kick of the giardiniera is there, but isn’t overbearing. While deliberately savoring every bite, I pause before making my way to the second half.

Other Reaction

I feel obligated to note here that I didn’t eat the sandwich on location, but rather I took it home with me. I am going to try to do as many of these reviews on location as possible to ensure optimal freshness. I also would like to take photos of the sandwiches to share here before they are devoured, but I didn’t do that this weekend either. In spite of these facts, this was an excellent sandwich, guys. Even after the 20-minute commute home to eat, my “Big Al” was still relatively warm and not lacking in flavor. As far as hot sammies go, consider this the new gold standard.

Overall Rating: 4.8/5


SANDWICH REVIEW #2: Blues City Deli

The kid is back – and with another round of oh-so-good sandwich reviews for his loyal readers. Because I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from my first review of Gioia’s Deli, and because I haven’t given you folks very much high-quality #journalism lately, I’ve decided I’d make it up to you all by featuring two sandwich reviews in this blog post. That’s right folks. Twice the sandwiches, twice the journalism. That’s how eager I am to bring you my hot takes on these hot sammies. But enough horsing around – it’s time for sandwich review #2.

What we have here ladies and gentleman is another staple of the St. Louis sandwich community. Blues City Deli, whose namesake derives from the nickname given to St. Louis, is one of those places you’ve wanted to try for a very long time, but for some reason haven’t made your way there to see what all the buzz is about. I can say this because I was one of these people. My first experience with BCD came several years ago, so I thought it would only be fair to give it another try.

Sandwiches aside, this shop is famous around the region for its unique and upbeat atmosphere. The menu is almost entirely blues themed. Some of its items such as the “Memphis Stax” and the “Delta Bayou” give a “tip of the hat to many cities on the ‘Blues Highway'” as explained on the deli’s official website. In addition to its menu, BCD’s walls are adorned with photos of blues music legends such as Robert Johnson. B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Tommy Bankhead and more. And, of course, a trip to the Benton Park-neighborhood sandwich shop is not complete without the music. Many times you will find a live band jamming inside while the line snakes its way from outside and down the block to the front counter.


I made my trek after a several years’ absence on a rainy February afternoon to find the line out the door and beginning to curl to the east alongside the brick building wall. Fortunately for me and my colleague Michael Krupp (shoutout to Michael for joining me on this review) this place has their craft down to an exact science, and to my amazement we had reached the front of the line in no more than five minutes. Our wait in line provided an opportunity to take in every little bit of ambiance that comes along with this corner store. The front windows are covered with ‘Riverfront Times Best of’ and ‘Sauce Magazine Reader’s Choice’ stickers, and one that states “People Love Us on Yelp!”. Go figure, as not even a week earlier Blues City Deli had been ranked in the Top 10 of Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat for 2018. As we approached the front of the line, blues music playing through the speakers and all (there was no live band today) it was now decision time.

Vendor: Blues City Deli, 2438 McNair Ave., St. Louis, MO

Sammie: “The Thunderbird”

Bread: Toasted Hoagie

Dine-In/Carryout: Carryout

With a lineup as deep as BCD’s, choosing the most satisfying sandwich is no easy task. So I relied solely on the eye test — which sandwich looked so tasty that I simply couldn’t say ‘no’ to.

Enter The Thunderbird.


  • Turkey
  • Pastrami
  • Cappicola
  • Bacon
  • Provel Cheese
  • Tomato, Onion, Pepperoncini & ‘Boom Boom’ sauce

Tasting Notes

The first and most obvious flavor was the ‘Boom Boom’ sauce – which reminded me of a kind of smoky thousand island. But it was hot, oh boy, was it hot. Unfortunately the folks at BCD were a bit too generous with their spread of secret sauce, and it proceeded to drip and pour out of my sammie with each proceeding bite. No matter – I would ultimately persevere.

Working my way into the heart of the sandwich, the turkey was the meat that stood out in taste for me. The occasional bite of bacon was at times over-powering, but coupled with the provel cheese it made for a delicious bite. But what about the pastrami? The cappicola and pepperoncini? All of these ingredients — all generally underrated in their own way — seemed to be lost by the excessive slathering of ‘Boom Boom’ sauce.

While delicious, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down by the hype surrounding ‘The Thunderbird’. A big consideration for me is always the bread – I tend to favor french bread that has a little crunch to it. The hoagie that nestled the Thunderbird was fine, but felt a little too chewy for my liking.

Overall Rating: 4.0/5

In my overall excitement of getting to the front of the line, I ordered a second sammie to take home later for its own review.

Sammie: “The Redbird”

Bread: Hoagie

Dine-In/Carryout: Carryout

Yeah, I know, there must be a thing about sandwiches with “birds” in the name. The Redbird was a Special of the Day, and it too passed the eye test. I requested to have this one prepared cold because I knew I would likely eat it the next day.


  • Turkey
  • Cappicola
  • Bacon
  • Provel cheese
  • Lettuce, Tomato and Sweet Red Pepper Sauce

With lots of overlap with ‘The Thunderbird’, ‘The Redbird’ brought it strong with a mix of turkey/provel/bacon flavor. The first bite through the last featured a turkey flavor. The biggest difference here was the missing ‘Boom Boom’ sauce, and instead featured the Sweet Red Pepper as its replacement. The sauce was really more of a paste, however, and unlike the ‘Boom Boom’ sauce the Sweet Red Pepper cooled this sandwich off quite a bit. To me it was a nice compliment, but the flavor could be over-powering at times. (I would compare it to the Legend Club at LeGrand’s, for all of you other sandwich aficionados.) I try not to penalize the sandwich too much on taste given that I chose to eat it leftover, but the hoagie still didn’t do a whole lot for me. Perhaps dressing it down with less sauce would bring out more of the meat flavor that was missing, but nevertheless, I have to stick by my ratings here.

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

‘The Redbird’, featuring turkey, cappicola, bacon, provel cheese, lettuce, tomato and sweet red pepper sauce.


THE BOUNCE: Facebook will Make it More Difficult for Brands to Reach Audiences. Why That’s a Good Thing (for everybody).

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my very first post in a series dedicated to marketing/media/tech news which I am calling ‘The Bounce”. I know, the title is super lame, but hopefully I can make up for it with some high-quality content about the marketing world. Let’s get started with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement late last week about the future of advertising on the social media juggernaut known as Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced in a blog post on January 11 that he’s given Facebook’s product teams a new goal going forward to focus on helping users find relevant content and have “more meaningful social interactions” while using the platform. His decision will mark “a major change to how we build Facebook”, Zuckerberg said.

Changes to all Facebook products will be implemented in the coming months, with the most obvious changes happening to the News Feed. Users can expect to see fewer posts from businesses, brands and media. Content that does appear from these entities will be held to the new standard — that it should help users have more meaningful social interactions. The changes are likely to result in people spending less time on Facebook, and for some engagement metrics to drop.

The move shocked many in the tech world, and was enough to get Wall Street a little rattled (Facebook shares dropped 5% early in the day on January 12….the biggest decline since November 2016), mainly because a decrease in engagement could mean a decrease in Facebook’s ad revenue.

So why would Zuckerberg, who was named the world’s fifth-richest person by Forbes magazine with a net worth of over $56 billion, put a cap on his possible return from advertisers who are eager to publish on the social network?

For starters, Zuckerberg set a personal goal for 2018 to make sure Facebook isn’t being misused. Practically, that means fewer sponsored posts and more personal content on Facebook. Zuckerberg said that users’s News Feeds will now contain more stories, photos and videos from friends and family, and fewer from advertisers.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being,” Zuckerberg said. “We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”

Facebook has also come under fire for its role in allowing “fake news” to run rampant on the platform, without a true way of authenticating published content. There is also a growing backlash against the amount of time that consumers are spending on social media.

Alright, so this is a big win for Facebook’s reputation and for all of us end-users, right? But what about the brands who will be shunned by Facebook’s algorithm? Aren’t they the ones getting a bad deal? Maybe not.

See, rather than publishing content, marketers and agency partners will soon be guided to publish quality content. Rather than pushing out numerous social media posts, auto-play videos, banner ads, and retargeting ads, marketers will soon be encouraged to create content that the users actually want to engage with. If done correctly, the content will pass Zuckerberg’s “meaningful social interactions” test, reach its target audience, create a positive experience for the user and in turn develop a healthy and prosperous relationship between the brand and the audience. The best advertisers are already doing this, but certainly the more that begin to take this approach, the better it will be for marketing as a whole.

It’s Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. Here’s to hoping that world is a little more authentic in 2018.

“Best way to sell something: Don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.”

Rand Fishkin, CEO and Founder of Moz

RAPID FIRE: Reaction to a Wild Weekend in Mizzou Athletics

It wasn’t supposed to be a dramatic weekend for Missouri Tigers fans….but that’s sure how it turned out.

Mizzou supporters were left with more questions than answers when the smoke had cleared after Cuonzo Martin’s Tiger Basketball squad fell 77-75 to the visiting Florida Gators. Let’s jump back to Friday, January 5th and try to piece together the weekend that was for Mizzou. (By the way, I am writing this post from my iPhone while my laptop is experiencing difficulties… apologies if there are any bugs with this post)

Blake Harris says he plans to transfer; leaves program

Freshman guard Blake Harris, who was among the extra recruitment prizes for first-year coach Cuonzo Martin following Michael Porter Jr.’s commitment to Missouri, announced that he plans to transfer from the University and effectively left the team.

“We will support him in any way possible” Coach Martin said in a statement Friday.

Harris, the Chapel Hill, NC native, was ranked among the top 100 prospects out of high school by ESPN. He originally committed to the University of Washington but was granted a release from his commitment after the firing of then head coach Lorenzo Romar. Harris then followed Michael Porter Jr. to Missouri. Porter was said to have recruited Harris personally.

Harris is the second member of his recruiting class to announce his decision to leave the program this year. Fellow freshman guard C.J. Roberts transferred to Texas Tech University this past December (Missouri placed the redshirt on Roberts this season, suggesting that his playing time would be minimized with a loaded back court).

I have to say guys — I was shocked when reading this news Friday morning. Point guard play has been an area of concern for this young team. At times the position has appeared to be on a “by committee” status. But when watching it looked like Harris had the best shot at securing the 1 guard spot. It’s disappointing to watch a kid as talented as Blake to walk away mid-season. One may point to key losses to West Virginia in the AdvoCare Invitational, where the Missouri guards buckled under pressure from Bob Huggins’ team (Harris played only 6 minutes), and to Illinois where Harris has his best performance with 10 points and 22 minutes played.

Harris’ ball handling and ability to cut into the paint — an area that hasn’t been this team’s strong suit all year — will surely be missed. But in an attempt to make myself feel better I would offer that poor attitude may have been a factor in his decision to transfer. Harris didn’t make it a secret that he was unhappy about playing time. In a call with the Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter he said,

“Of course I’d like to be playing more, but that’s not all of it. “I just think it would be better if we went our separate ways.”

**Deep sigh**

Harris gave the basketball equivalent of “I think we owe it to ourselves to date other people” on his way out the door. But before you cast Mizzou as the ultimate ugly step-sister consider this: Blake transferred high schools multiple times. He was rumored to not support his other teammates while on the bench. He displayed negative body language at times when being taken out of the game. Read into that how you will. It could be surmised that Harris and Coach Martin didn’t see eye-to-eye and maybe we shouldn’t have been as shocked when he made the decision to transfer. Either way, I wish the young man the best of luck in the future. I always strive not to rip into 18 or 19-year-old kids, though it is not easy at times.

Derek Dooley named next Mizzou Football Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach

Just as we thought our news day wasn’t busy enough, Mizzou announced Friday that former Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley would join Coach Barry Odom’s staff as an Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Dooley has most recently been on the sidelines in the NFL, where he coached Wide Receicers for the Dallas Cowboys. Dooley has served as a graduate assistant, assistant coach, head coach and athletic director for the University of Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State, Souther Methodist and Tennessee programs. He’s known for producing a pro-style offense, which may benefit Missouri QB Drew Lock, should he decide to return for his senior season in 2018.

As it goes these days, I went to the one place that tells me how I should feel when I am unsure about a topic — Twitter.

Folks, certain Missouri fans are NOT happy with the Derek Dooley hire. These “fans” have come out of the woodwork and behind the screens of their devices to declare the season as “finished” and the hire “a disaster”. But my favorite of these social media trolls are the ones who penned their Tweets “I am from Tennessee and I know that….”. Give me a break! Tennessee fans, in light of the dumpster fire which was started during their search for a head coach, now have the authority to tell Missouri fans how they should feel about their own school’s hire. Okay.

Nevertheless, I searched for some more prominent opinion on the OC hire and came away with this. Love him or hate him, Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage is a man who knows Tennessee Vols football, and SEC football in general. He shared some thoughts on Mizzou’s newest staffer.


Former Missouri WR L’damian Washington offered this.


For the record, I would be elated if #2 joined Dooley as an Offensive assistant some day. But to summarize, it is far too early to say whether Dooley is the right hire or not. There will always be those strongly in favor and strongly opposed to a coaching decision. My take on the matter – I trust in the mind of AD Jim Sterk. Sterk has seemed to right the ship after the shaky tenure of Mack Rhodes, and MU Athletics has found its way back into relevancy again. The man who since his time as AD has passed the approval of the south end zone expansion project, overseen construction of new baseball and softball facilities, and pulled the trigger on hiring Cuonzo Martin and effectively securing the commitment of the #1 recruit in the nation, is more fit to insert an OC than the Twitter trolls. Here’s to Drew Lock coming back home and putting up video game numbers in the SEC for one more season.

Mizzou falls to Florida in final seconds

On Saturday, January 6, Mizzou Basketball lost to Florida 77-75 after the Gators’ Chris Chiozza broke up a pass from MU guard Jordan Geist and took it coast to coast to score an uncontested layup with 0.1 seconds remaining. The Saturday afternoon contest was a thriller — Missouri led by as many as 12 points but the game was very much back and forth late in the second half. CBC High School grad Jordan Barnett went off for a career-high 28 points and shot 67% from 3-point range.

Folks….this one hurt. Even while the score was close, this writer felt during the entirety of the game that Mizzou would come away with a 2-0 conference record. Instead, heartbreak. An all too familiar feeling for the True Sons and Daughters.

I am a bit of a fan boy when I write about Missouri sports, I admit. I also try to take an optimistic approach when watching the Tigers. So let me offer some healthy cynicism in the wake of this loss. Coach Martin butchered the end of this game. With the score tied 75-75, Missouri called a timeout with 17 seconds remaining. Coming out of the timeout, the ball wasn’t in the hands of Kassius Robertson or Jordan Barnett, but instead Jordan Geist. Geist’s turnover cost the Tigers the game. It appeared that Mizzou wanted the last shot. Why, then, Martin didn’t trust his two studs to put the game in their hands, and at the very worst send the game to overtime with a missed shot I do not understand. It’s very possible that this loss will eliminate Missouri from entering the NCAA Tournament when selections are made come March.

Yes, this one hurt quite a bit. But let’s all of us take solace in the fact that this year is different than other recent years. This year, it matters more. This year the Mizzou brand is relevant again. Sure, much of it is due to the injured Michael Porter Jr. coming home to Columbia. But for a program that squeaked out 8 wins last year, no one can deny that things have improved and improved quickly. How much further they can go in 2018, though, remains to be seen.

MPJ: ‘My time is coming.’

The saga continues in Columbia, Missouri.

Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., whose college career has been held to just two minutes due to injury, spoke to local media during a men’s basketball press conference Tuesday for the first time since the 2017-18 season tipped off in November.

The 19-year-old has only given one public interview since Mizzou announced he would miss 3-4 months following surgery of his L3-L4 spinal discs, making his attendance at Tuesday’s media day somewhat significant. His only other interview since being injured occurred during the ESPN broadcast of December’s Braggin’ Rights contest versus Illinois. ESPN commentators Jordan Bernfield and Tom Crean never addressed what’s been on the minds of Missouri fans all year – ‘Will MPJ be healthy enough to make a return in the black and gold this season?’.

PowerMizzou publisher Gabe DeArmond, however, was not shy in asking the question when Porter Jr. and freshman center Jeremiah Tilmon met with the media Tuesday morning.

“Rehab is going great. I’m getting stronger every day. Right now it’s too early to tell,” Porter said.

“Everybody’s different with this injury, their recovery time. So I’m doing everything I can to recover as quick as I can. I’ll feel 100 percent before my back really is 100 percent. Eventually I’ll be 150 percent because I’ll be playing without the pain and limitations I had before.”

At 6′ 10″, Porter Jr. is ranked number 1 in the high school Class of 2017 according to Porter was named a McDonald’s All-American in high school and is widely regarded as a lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. And if that weren’t impressive enough, the kid won the one-on-one tournament at Steph Curry’s SC30 Select camp…twice. TWICE! He won the 1v1 tournament at what is considered the elite camp for high school prospects back-to-back years. One look at film of this guy really says it all.


Folks, I am rambling about this young man and his appearance at a seemingly routine press conference because this is not a kind of player Missouri lands often. It took a strange series of events, in fact, for Porter Jr. to suit up with the Tigers at all. But suit up he did, against the Iowa State Cyclones at Mizzou Arena on November 10, 2017. And within two minutes, it appeared that it would all be over.

The freshman took a seat shortly after scoring his first two points as a Tiger. Porter Jr. appeared to be hampering a knee injury, as he rocked back and forward on the Missouri bench for the remainder of the first half. He wouldn’t return. Panic sets in.

The hoop squad would go on to secure its first win of the season, but fans (including this writer) had already feared the worst for what Porter Jr.’s absence meant for the rest of the season.

In the days immediately following the season opener in Columbia, speculation was abound without an official announcement from the University. It was a leg injury. No, wait, it’s a hip injury. Now it’s a back injury?

Eventually, Mizzou fans got their answer. The talented Porter Jr. would likely miss the rest of the season, and the situation would soon be referred to by some as “the most Mizzou thing ever”.

All hope is lost….but does it have to be?

Despite MPJ’s cautious responses to the media on Tuesday, hints of a possible return have come to surface from different sources since the announcement of the injury.

First there was Porter himself — in the form of an Instagram Story

Well….isn’t this interesting?

The post was shared by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter in late November before being removed from Porter’s Instagram Story. Surely, MPJ wasn’t taking a shot at the MU training staff, but rather hinting that his rehab is progressing better than expected.

But then there was the interview with famed sports surgeon Dr. Rick Lehman, who has treated athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Cam Newton, during the Press Box with Frank Cusumano (a St. Louis sports-talk radio show).

When asked if Porter would be ready to play by the Braggin’ Rights game on December 23, Lehman bluntly stated “No. But I think he’ll be back in 4 weeks, and that’s ‘more than just a guess’.”

Okay, now I’m paying attention. It should be noted that Dr. Rick has had no involvement in treating Porter Jr., but his comments do carry some weight in the sports medicine world. Could he actually play again this season and help solidify the young Missouri team’s bid for a NCAA tournament?

One more clue was left behind via a New Year’s post.

Screenshot 2018-01-03 10.14.05

In another tease, Porter Jr. concluded his post with two emoji’s with the text “back” and “soon”. Also note the choice in photo. Is he hinting that he may play in the Missouri uniform again? Not sure. Is it healthy to psycho-analyze the words of a 19-year old in the form of a social media post? Probably not. But, until a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are stated, Missouri fans will continue to wonder as the Tigers open SEC play vs. South Carolina January 3 at 8 p.m.

It’s tough. I just have to be patient. My time is coming. I just can’t rush it.


Let’s get one thing straight — this isn’t the “Mouse House”. I’m Matt Maus (pronounced MOSS — like the stuff that grows on rocks) and this is The Maus Haus!

My story is a simple one. I’m 24 years old, a son of two accountants, product of Catholic school, and a True Son of the University of Missouri. Today I work at an advertising agency with hopes to one day become a legit marketing guru.

I started this blog because my voice has always been stronger written rather than spoken. I was a shy kid in school. I couldn’t express my ideas in person like I could through a piece in my school newspaper, or even my personal musings of another Blues season coming to an end. Something about writing out my ideas gave me a confidence boost that hasn’t left me yet.

These days, I haven’t been able to write much at all. That’s why I started The Maus Haus  to share my stories (with my 3 – 4 readers) and write some shit down just for fun for the first time since my short stint as a volunteer student-writer at In this blog I will do my best impression of a legit journo, and share some thoughts on Mizzou Tigers sports, general sports #HotTakes, St. Louis sandwich reviews, some tech/marketing news and whole lot more. Thank you to the 3 – 4 people for checking out my site, and I hope you enjoy!

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.” 

Walter White, Breaking Bad