Smiling Moose Evansville Review

The Smiling Moose Deli is a new restaurant in Evansville, located at 724 N. Burkhardt, across from Sonic.  As the name suggests it's a deli, but with a few offerings to make it unique and hopefully stand out against competitors like Panera Bread.

First Impression

It's a small restaurant and not very accommodating for groups larger than 4, unless you get lucky and can push some tables together.  When ordering you can see into the kitchen area where the sandwiches are made and it looked very clean.  Like the kitchen, the tables and fountain drink areas were clean as well.  For nicer days there were a couple tables outside on the side walk.

The employee taking our order was knowledgeable when asking about specific sandwiches and welcoming as soon as we walked through the door.  Other employees walking around the restaurant delivering food and picking up empty plates were also friendly and made sure we were happy with our experience.

The Food

The Smiling Moose sandwiches and food offerings are comparable to Panera Bread.  Each sandwich comes with your choice of chips and a pickle on the side.  Servings were adequate, on par with what you would expect from a sub sandwich shop or any other delicatessen.

I ordered The Bambino, which was a concoction of Pastrami, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard.  The sandwich was fantastic, but nothing that would put the Moose ahead of it's competitors.  Furthermore, the basic offering of pick-your-chips and get a pickle is boring.  I can buy the same bag of chips at the gas station, nothing new to see here.  I'd love to see a restaurant start making their own chips or add some sort of flavor to a side item with a sandwich.

The Smiling Moose also offers a number of menu items that can be prepared gluten free.  The gluten-free diet is the only treatment for people who suffer from celiac disease.  Therefore, if you are not one of the very small percentage of people with this disease, the gluten free offerings may not appeal to you.

Cost

Very reasonably priced menu and when coupled with coupons, I would consider it a deal.  Right now you can head over to the Smiling Moose website and print off a coupon for a free kids meal, with the purchase of a sandwich, chip and drink.  This coupon allowed my family of 3 to eat for $16, which is difficult to do even at McDonalds.

Visit the Smiling Moose Deli on Wednesdays and get a free cookie!  I got a Macadamia Nut Cookie, which was hot and fresh out the kitchen.

Short and Sweet

The Smiling Moose offers good food at a fair price, but not at a level that would keep me from choosing a competitor.  The seating is truly awful and a reason to avoid the restaurant if you are in a group of more than 4, parties need not apply.  I feel to garner more business they will need to come up with a hook, because as it's offered now, they are not doing anything better than their competitors.

Smiling Moose Facts

 

Vectren Summer Cycler Program Explained

Vectren Summer Cycler ProgramVectren, in an attempt to help lower peoples electric bills and save on resources, has inacted the Vectren Summer Cycler Program.  The short explanation is that Vectren will remotely shut off your air conditioning unit during peak times, to conserve energy.  Although just recently the program has failed, due to demand, below is an explanation of the program to help you decide if it's right for you.

The Perks

First off and probably most important, the program is designed to save you money every month.  Not only will you receive a discount from Vectren for enrolling, you will also save money from the lower use of power running your A/C.

Remote Turn Off

When you sign up for the Vectren Summer Cycler, a local heating and air company will come out and install a device on your air conditioner.  This device will be remotely controlled by Vectren and shut power off to the A/C for 12-13 minutes every half hour during the peak hours of the day.

The Downside

In the really hot summer months, 12-13 minutes of no A/C can make a big difference in the temperature of your house.  Newer well insulated homes might not tell a difference, but older homes without proper insulation can heat up very quickly.  In only a matter of minutes the temperature in your house can raise from 75 to 90 degrees.

Although the program is aimed at saving on utility bills, many individuals feel that it's just another way for Vectren to control their own expenses.  Vectren claims that there are 20-30 thousand homes that already participate in the Summer Cycler program and as many as 30 people sign up everyday to have the remote switch installed.

Personal Experience

I participate in the Vectren Summer Cycler with no ill effects.  People against the program claim that it's like Vectren controlling your thermostat, but my house always remains the temperature I set it at, which is a cool 72-73 degrees.  I've never noticed my A/C not kicking on when I want it to, but my unit is newer and my house is well insulated.

The total savings I receive every month from Vectren, not including actual energy savings, is a credit for $5.00.  It may not seem like much, but the actual energy consumption being lowered and credit over the summer adds up.  Of course as soon as my family starts being uncomfortable, I will be discontinuing use.

What's your experience in Evansville for the Vectren Summer Cycler Program?  Does anyone have any reviews to share?

Interview With Calling Corners

A few weeks ago I went to the Duck Inn, to see the local hard rock band Calling Corners.  They were nice enough to take the time and provide an e-mail interview.  Please check it out below.

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You guys put on an awesome show a few weeks ago when I saw you at the Duck Inn.  It was very refreshing to see live music in Evansville that hits as hard as you guys do, I'm a big fan of face melting-high-energy rock and you guys delivered.  It was so intense that the people on the other side of the bar had to come see what all the awesome was about.

Thank you for the compliment and we appreciate you being there.

I think it's very refreshing to hear original music from a local band,instead of the tried and true covers.  There is also a lot to be said for a band that can create a very entertaining show, even though a listener may not be familiar with their songs.

That's really one of the main things we focus on, is our stage presence.  For two reasons, one...we're living in a visual world now-a-days.  And two, because most people go to a local bar/venue to see a cover band, a person may get bored with an original set until they know your material.  So no matter how good your songs are, you have to keep them entertained with your energy on stage.

At this stage in your career do you prefer to play original songs live or do covers?

Original music most definitely.  Matt (our guitar player) and myself spent a number of years in a couple of local cover bands and it's a great time, and there's money to be made.  But doing your own music, hearing people sing YOUR songs back to you, that's more rewarding than all the money in the world.

We know from your MySpace Page that your influences are Trapt, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, etc..  But explain to someone who has never heard your music before what it sounds like, in 3 words.

Heavy Melodic Rock

Where is your favorite place to rock in Evansville?

There's a couple of favorites actually.  We love Woody's and we appreciate everything Zack has done for us so far.  Great staff, great P.A., with national after national coming through.  And then, we love O'Brian's Sports Bar as well.  That's a bar with a great vibe, just relaxed.  You feel like you can do anything there and people are gonna love it.

You say you guys got to share the stage with Theory of A Deadman, how has that experience motivated you as musicians?

I think it's motivated us to really keep working like we're working.  The "dream" is very much a possibility, and the fact that on our level we can get on the same stage as bands like Theory, or any of the other bands on their level that we've played with, definitely shows that.  Hard work definitely pays off.

We talked a little bit about internet popularity playing a part in getting signed to a record label.  Do you personally think Friend Count equals popularity?

I'm not sure if it can define your popularity, but I think in the beginning it definitely helps you gain that popularity that you're looking for.  Because if you can pull 50 of your closest friends to every show, it sends the message that you have something going on, and that someone besides you believes in your music and what you're doing.  From there, other people get curious, come see your show, talk about your show, help build your show, and that's how you build your following.

You mentioned your MySpace Page and Facebook account numerous times throughout the night, does that generate a noticeable jump in online presence after every show?

MySpace not so much, we have a few friend requests here and there after the show so we keep plugging it.  But I think MySpace has went numb for the most part.  But our Facebook page definitely has.  We went from 3 fans to 200 plus in a matter of days.  And the cool thing about Facebook, it's honest.  Same goes with Twitter.  And what I mean by that is, you can't send friend requests from a FB band page or a Twitter account, so those are 200 plus people (on the FB page) that have searched us out because they liked the band and became a fan.  So those are the people that are gonna keep coming to shows and buying tickets.

Big name acts like Nine Inch Nails have embraced BitTorrent as a means to distribute music freely, assuming fans will be more inclined to buy your music if they like it.  Do you think there is any weight in that or considered this as a business model?

Ya know, I do think there's a lot of weight in this.  When this band first started we were so focused on how much money we could make once we got something recorded, or t-shirts, or whatever.  You're almost blinded by it, and by the time you see in front of you again, you're frustrated because you've only sold 3 cd's or whatever.  But I actually saw an interview with Trent Reznor a while back and he talked about this business model and giving stuff away and it makes alot of sense.  And we actually do that now.  We'll burn some songs to a spool of cd's and hand them out at our shows.  And then when people wanna hear more, they buy the actual disc.  And not only that, but we're looking at cheap things we can put our stamp on and hand out at shows as well.  People love free.

Where do you see Calling Corners 5 years from now?

Hopefully on the road doing this for a living.  We have a lot in the works right now and people should expect big things from us.  Because it's gonna happen.

Thanks a ton for your time, I look forward to catching you guys live again
soon.  Good luck.

Thank you.

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I can't stress enough how great these guys are live, it really is worth the cover charge.  Also, be sure to buy their album, which is available at Joe's Record Shack.

Lastly, be sure to add them as a friend on your MySpace and Facebook accounts.  And, if you twitter, be sure to follow them there as well.  Their next performance will be at Woody's on October 28th, see you there!

Calling Corners MySpace Account

Calling Corners Facebook Account

Calling Corners Twitter

Calling Corners

Evansville Tea Party

The Evansville, Indiana Tea Party is schedule for April 15th at 5:00 PM to correspond with national Tax day.  The even will be held downtown at the Civic Center Complex, out on the front steps.  This will be a peaceful demonstration, in response to local, state, and federal government actions.

For those who fell asleep during history class, the original Boston Tea Party was a protest to Taxation Without Representation.  Many feel that we are again in a similar political environment where the elected leaders are not accurately representing the wishes of their people.

I'll be there, since it's an actual protest after work hours, for the working people who feel unfairly treated.  Let's represent, be vocal and make sure the biast Evnasville Courier doesn't scew what its' really all about.  See you there.

Frog Follies In Evansville

Evansville, IN 33rd Frog Follies
Evansville, IN 33rd Frog Follies

My absolute favorite event that comes to Evansville was here last week.  The 33rd Frog Follies was at the Evansville 4H grounds and it looked like it was a huge success.  I was out there on Saturday from around 10:00 to 3:00 and I could not believe how many cars and people there were.  I've been every year for the past 8 years (unless it was rained out) and it seemed like there were more people this year than ever before.

For example, at 10:30 I decided I wanted to beat the lunch rush and get me a hotdog to snack on.  Pfft.  Forget about it, every food line had what seemed to be over 50 waiting feverishly for some substanence.  Thankfully, there were vendors for drinks only, so refreshments weren't a problem.  Needless to say, I went hotdogless though.  Perhaps the very reasonable prices is what draws so many people to actually eat on site at the Follies or maybe the food is just that good.  At any rate it wasn't a loss, with my $1.25 RC Cola I was ready to see some hot rods.

With so many cars on display a person could spend all 3 event days browsing around and still not see everything.  And while I did come away with some pictures of the Frog Follies, I didn't get nearly enough, since I was too busy rubber necking all the vehicles.  Enjoy what I did walk away with below.

Evansville 33rd Frog Follies Flickr Album