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Our Weekly Bread: Dinner Roll at Smiling Moose

The Sandwich: Dinner Roll

What's on it: Turkey and roast beef, melted white American cheese, grilled onions and creamy horseradish on a giant Kaiser roll with a side of au jus for dipping.

Where to get it: The Smiling Moose Deli (727 Colorado Boulevard, 333-3354)

How much: $6.69

A smiling moose is a tricky animal. First of all, it's a moose, and animals, as far as I know, don't really have facial expressions. And then there's the fact that it's smiling, which makes me wonder what it is smiling about. Mooses are already funny-looking, anyway.

The Smiling Moose Deli is also a tricky animal. From the outside, this thirteen-store chain (founded in Vail in 2003) looks like the typical, boring sandwich place. But on the inside, it offers a happy staff and some interesting selections, like the Mighty Mo, a cross between a hoagie and a cheeseburger; and the Hippie Chick, with ground chickpeas, tahini, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and cilantro.

But then things get tricky again. Because the sandwich I chose, which sounded like it would be a winner, lacked any real punch. The turkey and roast beef were good, but the slices were all crowded to one side of a massive, Atkins-killing roll. The onions and horseradish should have added a kick, but were bland. The same was true of the au jus, which came in a massive cup that could have served as a small canteen.

Add to that the fact that the deli just raised its prices - prompting one regular to stomp out - and the Smiling Moose seemed to be dishing out frowns.

For previous sandwiches, read the Our Weekly Bread archive.

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