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.
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 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.
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