So if you’re noticing that we seem to be re-visiting a lot of places recently … well, you’re right. Thanks for being observant.
Ted made a suggestion that, just due to circumstances post-COVID that have caused staffing to be off in a lot of places, perhaps we should primarily be going back to old favorites right now as opposed to trying out a ton of new places. Because we want to be as fair as possible when we rate places. And also selfishly because we’ve been doing this for 8 years now and we still stammer when people ask us for a suggestion where they should go to eat in our area, or if we remember what our experience was like visiting this place or that. So many times we’ve left places thinking “wow, that place was awesome, we totally need to go back …” and then four years and countless new places later we have to consult this blog just to affirm that we truly did try a place in the past.
It’s a rough life, I know.
Now the Happy Moose is a little bit of a different story. Because we actually have come back here several times, and not always on a WTGW visit either. But every time we come back Shane can be counted on to say “wow, I can’t believe we’ve only been here once, why don’t we come here more often?” And then I have to remind him that we have been back, like four or five times.
But it’s also been at least a year and a half since the last visit, so we’ll cut him some slack this time around.
Hey, you know what’s always fun? My uncanny inability to order a beer that’s actually in stock. I swear, I could probably walk into a bar and order a Bud Light, and be told that they just sold the last one ten minutes prior. Of all the gifts in the world to be blessed with, I’m so thrilled that the universe gave me this one.
The Happy Moose has a pretty impressive beer and cider list, so of course I was excited … but the first one I tried to order (something from local brewery Lock 15) they returned to inform me that they no longer carry. Which, given that the menu is printed on regular paper, perhaps we could just re-print when we run out of something, no?
So I went with choice #2, Blake’s caramel apple cider. Which was far less impressive once it arrived in a can. And even less so when I started drinking it. Back to the list it was then.
On the luckier side of the table, Ted ordered a Truth on draft, and Shane went with a Bud Light, which they’re pretty much guaranteed to never run out of. Unless, as stated already, I order it.
It was a myriad of fried vegetables for appetizers at our table, with Shane and I opting for the zucchini planks, and Ted getting the fried pickles.
In case you’re confused, the first picture is the pickles and the second is the zucchini. Because, you know, long skinny vegetables all kinda look about the same once breaded and fried.
The server told us that they just got the pickles back on the menu, after having been out for a long time. So clearly it’s Ted’s lucky night. Me, not so much. You win some, you lose some I guess.
Ted and I both tried to warn Shane about how hot the apps were after they arrived. I took a bite, lost a layer of skin from my tongue, and immediately said to Shane that those are super hot and you probably don’t want to touch them yet.
He didn’t listen.
I now kind of have a better understanding about why McDonald’s has “hot coffee” written on its cups.
Time for more drinks! Second round for me was a peach ale. Maybe it was because of that layer of taste buds I was now missing, but let’s just say that the cider was better. Oh well, chalk it up to trying new things.
For dinner, Ted and Shane both got the Moosey Burger, which has bacon, fried banana peppers, and carmelized onions.
I was looking at that as well, but then decided one of us should order something different so I opted for the spicy turkey club. That decision also may or may not have been influenced by the words “ciabatta bread.” which we all know I could probably be persuaded to trade my car for a really good loaf of.
Fortunately I didn’t make that deal this time around, though, because this sandwich wasn’t great. The turkey was in little bits and pieces instead of actual slices, and I only tasted the spicy aioli on a tiny few bites. Quite honestly, the bread overpowered the sandwich. Which is saying a lot given my previous statements.
At least I didn’t have food envy, though, because Shane said his burger was just OK. Not great, not awful … just OK. He had thought that the burgers there had been more flavorful in the past, and this one just wasn’t as good as he remembered.
Speaking of memories, Ted was reminiscing about our first visit to the Happy Moose, and the rise and shine burger they used to serve that was on French Toast, with egg, bacon and peanut butter on top. And how he just had to try it back then because it was so different. Now almost every place has some sort of a “breakfast burger” with eggs and bacon on top – and even HM still has burger called the “rise and shine” that includes those items. But gone are the PB and French toast – which is what made it so different from any other breakfast burger we’d seen.
Overall, the Happy Moose is still a solid option for a meal, with good service and a decent beer selection (unless you’re me, anyway). It seems the food options have gone downhill a bit since our last visit, but that may have just been our choices on this visit or maybe a bad night for the kitchen staff. We’re disappointed but not willing to totally write them off just yet. I mean, we’ve given worse places the benefit of the doubt, right?