Healthier Holiday World Food

Holiday World FoodWhat comes to mind when you hear strawberry feta cheese sunflower seed salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing? Is it a healthy food option at a nice restaurant? I bet the first thing that came to mind wasn't theme park food! I was as surprised as you probably are to hear this new addition to Holiday World's food menu.

When you think about it, theme park food is part of the whole experience. We want a day of fun and out of the ordinary experiences which include burgers, ice cream, cotton candy, fudge, french fries and corn dogs.  Stereotypically similar to really bad for you fast food or even closer to carnival food. So when I stumbled upon the new food options on their website I did a double take and smiled with delight at the new additions. Besides the new salad were other options such as black bean chipotle veggie burger, pasta salad, baked pasta, five new soups and a no sugar added butter pecan ice cream. An added benefit is the ability to purchase many of these healthier foods in multiple restaurants within Holiday World and also in Splashin' Safari.

Oh there are also other new items to the menu for those believing that calories don't count while on vacation. Funnel cake fries, fried brownie bites, apple stuffed bosco breadsticks and churros have been added to the menu to tempt us all. Don't get me wrong. I am pumped for more variety and will probably by the end of the summer have tried them all (just typing fried brownie bites makes my mouth water). For me, a frequent (weekly) Holiday World visitor, the addition of healthy food options helps me balance out the fun food intake without wrecking my diet.

Four Friends Corner Cafe Review

I don't have to tell you that the economy has been a very fickle beast for at least the past 2 years. Because of this small local businesses are popping up and deflating out, taking dreams with them. This is why I have decided to commit a certain amount of my time and energy to review and help bring attention to local businesses. This review of Four Friends Corner Cafe will be the first of Local Business segments, and hopefully a regular feature of Evansville Blog.

Get The Facts

Four Friends Corner Cafe
1400 North Main Street
Evansville, IN 47711

To get there head south on Main street from Garvin Park, it's 2 blocks down on your right. They have plenty of on street parking and a small lot suitable for 3-4 small cars or 1-2 big trucks. For companies close by it's an easy walk, especially on warm fall days.

Inside there are about 5-6 tables, where a small group or couples will probably be most comfortable. However, I feel like their meals and layout favor those who like their meals to-go. Also consider eating on their picnic table out front or taking your hot dog to Garvin Park and eat on one of their many picnic tables. I prefer to take mine to go and eat in my truck, parked at Garvin Park, while writing this review.

The decor is as expected from a local restaurant focusing on a hot dog meal niche. An antique toy pinball machine could even be found in the corner of the dining room area. What was unexpected was the number of scriptures written on various boards around the kitchen and in the seating area. It's obvious that the owners/operators are religious, hopefully this isn't a turn-off for you, it wasn't for me.

Food Facts

The staple of Four Friends Corner Cafe are there hot dogs. They use Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs for all their hot dog meals, which include Fries and a drink. Also, there is plenty of variety, including coney style dogs or anything you can dream up, they will build to suit. On this trip I had their Cincinnati Special, which was a loaded coney dog with lots of cheese and onion.

The meal was very good and very filling.

The Bad

I work for a business close to Four Friends Corner Cafe, so about 30 days ago an employee dropped off a menu. This is how I found out about the Evansville restaurant and what peeked my interest in trying out some of their unusual hot dog creations. So, I picked out my would be meal and headed a few blocks over to place my order.

After I placed my order I was informed that my specific meal was no longer available. Nor did the girl behind the counter remember how to make the DC Monumental Special. No biggie, I'll just take one of their other specials, which would have been fine if their prices had not been so high. In no way do I feel like I got value for my money and even after a full stomach I had buyers remorse.

Indeed, their prices had gone up from around $5 per meal, which included fries and a medium fountain drink, to over $7. Also, to add insult to injury there was no fountain machine, only cans of pop in the fridge. So now I'm full, but thirsty, and feel like a spent a fortune for a hot dog.

Short and Sweet

The food was fantastic, service was good, and there was plenty of places to sit, eat and enjoy my lunch break. I'd recommend anyone to check it out.  However, to get my repeat business prices will need to fall.

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Do you have a suggestion on where I should take my next lunch break?  Or is there another local business that needs reviewed or help with advertising?  Simply leave a comment here or drop me an email to let me know your thoughts.

Greeks Pizza Evansville

Greeks Pizzeria moved into the East Side of Evansville over one year ago, but I still don't think to eat there very often.  Not because the food is bad or the service rude and certainly not because of the location, but it's just not at the top of my eat-out choices.  Monday night I met with some friends and I realized why.

First of all there is no atmosphere, where other Greeks Pizzeria locations seem to have flavor, a buzz, a reason to want to be there.  Every time I go into the Evansville Greeks I half way expect to see batteries on the wall, thanks to the previous tenant.

Next, it took forever to get our food.  This becomes less of a problem when there is atmosphere to enjoy, but with a lack of entertainment and general frivolity I was left staring at my watch.  It took 1 hour to get our food after ordering.  This is waaaaaaay too long, especially without an explanation.

Once I did receive my food it was hot, tasty, and sat just fine on top of the adult beverages I had consumed while waiting.  In my opinion Greeks is good, not great, so it seems to live in a restaurant-choosing purgatory.  Greeks Pizzeria's are independently owned, but is there a reason Evansville is still not listed on the official website?

Hollywood Bar and Grill Eastside Showplace

Hollywood Bar and GrillLast night my wife and I had date night, thanks to my parents letting my daughter sleep over.  My wife had been begging me to go see the new Harry Potter and I had been begging her to go out for a beer and burger.  Thanks to the Hollywood Bar and Grill we only had to park once to enjoy both date night endeavors.  Granted Wednesday night isn't the most happening time to go out, I'll give you my break down on the evening.

First of all Hollywood Bar and Grill food was fantastic, my burger was cooked to order and fries were seasoned perfectly.  Also, my wife's ham and pineapple pizza was great and portions for both were adequate for the price.  That being said, don't head off to this grill looking for a lot of choices.  They have plenty of apetizers, but lack in the main course arena of variety.  Lastly, we showed up about 6:00 and were 1 of about 6 people, not couples, but individuals.

The bar tender and waitress were both very friendly and these were the only ones we ran into.  I'm assuming there was a cook in the back, but never did he poke his head out to see if anyone was still there.  And unlike another Evansville Hollywood Bar and Grill restaurant review, I did not see any signs for employee eyes only.

Had our Harry Potter movie not been starting at 7:00 my wife and I would have chilled out with some more beers and listened to the live band.  Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Eastside Hollywood Bar and Grill they have live music and last nights was Common Ground.

For more information on Hollywood Bar and Grill visit their website, which is part of Showplace Cinemas.

Red Robin First Impressions

Red Robin of Evansville
Red Robin of Evansville

My brother and I decided to check out the new Red Robin in Evansville last night.  Overrall it was a good decision, but there are a few things that just didn't set right with my experience.  Allow me to share with you my experience, so that hopefully yours will be more fulfilling.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere in Red Robin was just great, complete with friendly hostess.  It's a wide open building with plenty of booths and tables, depending on your preference.  Also, there appeared to be a full service bar, but unfortunately no drink specials.

Looking back I don't remember any music playing, just the sound of a bustling restaurant.  Plenty of people chatting and generally having a good time.  Not necessarily a place I would recommend going out with a loved one for a quiet intimate dinner.

Service

I think that every restuarant experience comes down to the waitor or waitress you luck out with.  My waitor last night was very friendly, prompt when I needed something, but didn't come around as often as I would like.  This became an issue with me, considering how Red Robin sells their meals.  More on this under the food section.

It seemed to take a little longer than it should have to receive a simple burger and fry meal.  My brother and I waited probably about 20-25 minutes for our meals to show up.  Considering that it was a Thursday night, early, and really not that busy it seemed unacceptable.  No worries though, we weren't in a hurry.

Food

I purchased the Red Robin special A1 Peppercorn Burger on an onion bun.  It was perfect and cooked with a little pink, just as I had requested.  When ordering you have two choices for how you want your burger cooked, 'A Little Pink' or 'No Pink'.  I thought it was funny when our waitor insisted on correcting me when I ordered mine Medium.  "You mean a little pink", he said.  Kind of like a Venti coffee instead of just a large. pfft.

Overall the burger and fries were great and Red Robin has a seductive way of getting you to fall for their $10+ burger meal combos.  Red Robin offers bottomless fries, meaning you can eat as many fries with your meal as you want and they will keep bringing them out.  This sounds great, but when your waitor doesn't visit the table often enough to replenish your fries, what's the point?

Total time spent in Red Robin was probably just over an hour before I was finally asked if I wanted extra fries.  Of course I didn't take any, hell I was tired of just setting in the same place and had plans afterward.  Therefore, in future visits (and I will visit again) I fully intend on asking the server to go ahead and bring out extra fries when he brings the first meal.  That way, when I'm ready for my fries, they'll be there.

Conclusion

I'll eat there again.  The food was good, but nothing to get excited about.  The service was good, but nothing to get excited about.  The way in which you are served, by a place that promises bottomless fries, is aggrevating.  Make sure you get your money's worth and ask for extra fries up front, because the amount brought out with your burger is not enough to justify the cost.