Restaurant Review: The Tattooed Moose

Walking into the Tattooed Moose you half expect to see the Royal Tenenbaums engaging in a hair of the dog brunch. The vibe is a touch hipster, a touch pub– it’s a nice combination. As the name suggests, there is, in fact, a moose. It will greet you as you saddle up the the bar for some beer or, like I did, for some duck fat fries.
They make grilled cheese sandwiches ($5.50) with slices of yellow American here– the kind I, away from my mother’s health conscious gaze, scarfed down with impunity during my high school lunches. As I am sure you’ll agree, these delightful, greasy pieces of Americana are best dunked in a lot of ketchup. My only issue with The Tattooed Moose’s grilled cheese sandwich was that it wasn’t hot; the American cheese had begun to cool and to congeal. In a perfect world, all grilled cheese sandwiches are cut on the diagonal and as you pull apart the halves, the melted cheese stretches to the thinness of yellow Saran Wrap before breaking into strands. I’m sure, when it’s hot, the grilled cheese sandwiches at the Tattooed Moose do.
Ideally, the Tattooed Moose’s “Lucky #1” Sub ($8.25) would have tasted like a well balanced banh mi sandwich. Oh how I was hoping for those kinds of flavors. My sandwich roll was soggy, the seared pork belly was barely discernible. The flavors of the house made kimchi, wasabi mayo and sweet red chili sauce were muddled not complimentary. The crispy shallots were fried many minutes before and were far past crisp. The Duck Fat Fries ($1.75) were all they were quacked up to be (sorry, I had to). I had to gingerly slap hands away from the heaping pile.
All in all, the food here was decent. I wouldn’t recommend the Lucky #1 Sub, but the grilled cheese and duck fat fries were good enough I’d give you the thumbs up if that’s what you wanted to order. From all the rave reviews I’ve read I think I hit the Tattooed Moose on a bad day. I’ll definitely be back, if just for the duck fat fries and to give this neighborhood favorite a second chance.
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