Monday, February 13, 2012

Moose Cafe

Being a recent victim of wisdom teeth removal, I had to think ahead and visit numerous restaurants the week before my big surgery. I thought this gluttonous plan would allow days of chicken broth post-op to suffice, but after 48 hours, I was pretty souped out. (It’s also been torturous to watch my normal amount of Food Network.) I hope to be crunching my way through the city again before too long, but for now, I’ll share my reviews of the places I dined before the dreaded surgery. And just my luck, I didn’t even start out on a good note.

I hope my unfortunate experience at the Moose Café in Greensboro is because I “chose” a bad day to go. I’ve always heard how amazing the breakfast and farm fresh food is, so I was thrilled to stop in for lunch on my way to a Carolina Basketball game (Go Heels!) For some reason, the restaurant was understaffed and therefore terribly unorganized that day, because after taking our drink order, our server deserted us to wait on a party of 40. Granted, that’s a pretty big assignment, but shouldn’t we have been seated in someone else’s section in the first place? The pleasant but clueless hostess thus became our server. I was pleased to see two huge, fluffy biscuits brought to the table with homemade apple butter (YUM), but without said apple butter, the biscuits were just fair. If you pride yourself on being a farm fresh, southern restaurant, you should be able to whip up some outrageous biscuits.

My companion and I ordered vegetable plates, to see what the fuss was all about. Granted, it’s wintertime, so our choices were somewhat limited. My plate included Pickled Beets, Green Beans, Butternut Squash Casserole and Chicken and Dumplings – yes, Chicken and Dumplings counts as a vegetable in the South. All four dishes were only mildly warm, and the clear winner here was the Butternut Squash Casserole - very similar to sweet potato casserole, but chunkier. I’m a huge fan of dishes that are both sweet and savory, and this casserole nailed it. The Pickled Beets were good, though nothing standout, but the Green Beans tasted completely unseasoned. They easily could have been right out of a can. Chicken and Dumplings was essentially gravy with a few bites of shredded white meat chicken mixed in. My companion’s plate of Cabbage, Fried Okra and Pinto Beans was similarly unsatisfying, and when my companion leaves Pinto Beans on the table, you know it’s bad news. 

Luckily, our vegetable plates came with an awesome cornbread, once again playing between sweet and savory notes, and perfectly moist. This made up for the lame biscuits.

Though I was very much underwhelmed, I suppose I’d give the Moose Café another chance, but maybe in the summertime or for breakfast. The next time I want Southern style comfort food (though perhaps not farm fresh) I’ll hit up K&W.

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