Our Weekly Bread: The Market Restaurant's muffuletta

The sandwich: The muffuletta What's on it: Bologna, pepperoni, provolone, Greek slaw on a French roll. Where to get it: The Market Restaurant (1445 Larimer Square, 303-534-5140) How much: $7.65

The word muffuletta sounds cool no matter how you pronounce it. Moof-a-letta! Moof-a-lotta. Whatever. Supposedly of Italian origins but invented in New Orleans, it's a popular sandwich, but one that just doesn't sound all that appetizing when you look at the traditional ingredients: chopped olives and Italian meats, like capicola and salami. They just don't seem to match the exotic-sounding richness of the name.

As a result, I'd never had one. But when a friend recommended the sandwiches at the Market, and another recommended the muffuletta, If figured it was time.

Oddly, the Market's muffuletta (at right) doesn't come on muffuletta bread (it's on a French roll) and doesn't have any olives in it (which is the one ingredient that makes a muffuletta a muffuletta). And as for the Italian meats, it has bologna and pepperoni, which sound more like a nine-year-old child's sack lunch than staples at an Italian meat market. The sandwich also contains oil and vinegar and Greek slaw, which don't fit either.

So, basically, the Market's muffuletta bears no resemblance to a traditional sandwich, aside from the cheese and the name. And that was fine with me, since, like I said, the original never sounded that good to me, and the non-muffuletta muffuletta I had tasted muff-tastic anyway!

Big and juicy, the bologna was much better than any sack-lunch fare, and the spice of the pepperoni gave it a nice kick. The oil and vinegar was great, and so was the bread.

In fact, somehow, this no-olive olive sandwich was one of the better creations I have had in my months of searching for Denver's best bets between bread.

While I was there, I also tried the Santa Fe Chicken sandwich (at left), which rocked and rolled as well. And in this case, the sandwich actually had the called-for ingredients, chicken fried chicken and green chile sauce that gave it a sweaty but not spicy flavor.

So I guess it doesn't really matter what they call their sandwiches at the Market -- or how they pronounce them -- because they taste good. Olive them. - Jonathan Shikes

For more sandwiches, log on to the Our Weekly Bread archive.

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