Tin Man Brewing Co. Review

My review of the Tin Man Brewing Co. in Evansville, Indiana. A local brewery attempts to make it’s mark on the city of Evansville, complete with food and a fresh atmosphere.

[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"]T[/dropcap]in Man has finally opened in Evansville, after months of teaser advertisements and much social fan fare. A few weeks ago I was able to experience what Tin Man had to offer first hand and in the robots natural habitat, a brewery. Lured in by promises of a unique experience, good beer, and awesome food I came prepared to be amazed.

Tin Man Brewing Co.For starters, Tin Man is located on Franklin Street, a prime location for beer lovers. A block or two in any direction will land you at other popular Evansville bars, like the Gerst Haus and Lamasco Bar. In comparison, Tin Man has a more modern decor, this contemporary look can be found in the seating layout, restrooms, and even the method of which you are served. Tin Man has done an amazing job at creating a unique environment to enjoy their beer, which is evident as soon as you see the front of their building.

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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

 

Five Guys Evansville Is Now Open

Five Guys has finally found it's way to Evansville, bringing burgers and mountains of fries to anyone willing to visit their east side location.  I had the privilege, nay, the honor, to pick up a meal for my daughter and I the other night.  Was not disappointed, from start to finish, a very pleasant and professional experience.

First, I was surprised that their pricing was extremely reasonable.  I swore Five Guys in Indianapolis was more expensive, but pricing was right on spot.  The small burgers were plenty big, more than enough for my 3 year old offspring.  Also, one regular bag of fries allowed us to gorge ourselves and then have enough left over for my wife to gorge on when she got off work.

Five Guys Evansville

The location seems a bit off to me, Five Guys is located in the same strip mall as Fox and the Hound and Gander Mountain.  Having a college type atmosphere I assumed it would be better located on the west side of Evansville.  Weird location or not, for a Tuesday night the place was absolutely packed.  All but just a few of the tables were full, no less than 8 people were standing waiting on a to-go order, and the line waiting to order stretched from the registers to the entrance doors.

Five Guys really shined, thanks to professionalism and their employees abilities to absolutely blow through the customers.  At any given time there were 8-10 employees standing behind the counter, flipping burgers, taking orders, calling out orders, or just cleaning up.  The entire time I was there I never saw one employee standing around with nothing to do, everyone hustled.  Because of the hustle I managed to make my way from the front doors, place my order, get my order and walk out with a smile on my face in less than 25 mins.

Once home the burgers and fries tasted just as I had remembered.  Delicious.  I find that Five Guys burgers are the closest thing to my own back yard grilled burgers.  No dried out meat, plenty thick, and they haven't had the taste smushed out of them.  The toppings go a long way to blowing other burgers out of the joint.  What good is a tasty burger if they have brown lettuce and thin pickles?  Five Guys piles the veggies high and careful of asking to have it ran through the garden, it's like having a side salad with burger patties in the middle.

There is something to be said about a fast food restaurant that doesn't even have a freezer on location.  Furthermore, the line to the cash register is lined with bags of potatoes, waiting to be cut up and deep fried into the perfect french fry.  Everything is fresh!  Fresh food, cooked right, and employees that look you in the eye and smile when you approach.  I'm sold and will be returning again, probably more frequently than my waste line would appreciate.

Panera Bread Review With Friends

I'm all about traditions. What makes a tradition work time and time again are a few key factors. It has to be fun, appealing to every participant and most importantly, consistent. Panera Bread is a tradition for me and my friends. Our love for meeting here for any meal runs deep. I know its just a restaurant but to us it is so much more.

All great restaurants have great food and Panera's food is unique and delicious. They make all of their breads from scratch and fresh everyday. Almost every ingredient on the menu is organic, including the kids menu. The entrees are healthy yet filling. One of our favorites is the broccoli cheese soup which they serve in a delicious bread bowl. It's divine. Besides soups and amazing sandwiches, they also offer a huge variety of bakery foods and desserts. No matter what time of day it is there always seems to be someone ordering the bakers dozen box of bagels.

Panera always seems to be busy, any time of day we have visited and yet we've never had trouble getting a table. The layout is large enough to accommodate the many loyal Panera food lovers and yet it still seems intimate. Our Panera Bread in Evansville has a small fireplace which you can sit around on three sides. There are also a few bistro table outside but I prefer the atmosphere inside with modern art and cozy table settings.

Panera Bread seems to attract students needing a fun environment to study, business professionals getting a bit of work done on their laptops, friends of every age group and families all wanting to enjoy amazing food thats just unique enough to differ from the abundant fast food chains. Panera Bread has given us a quick service meal experience that feels more like a treat. How can a quick meal cafe hold so much importance in our lives? Simply by creating an atmosphere that we can't seem to find amongst the many other fast food joints in Evansville.

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.