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Mad Munchies

Evansville has a taste for Asian cuisine of all types from Japanese sushi to classic Chinese American takeout, but there isn’t an abundance of locally owned options for fast-casual dining. On April 7, the grand opening of Teriyaki Madness at 8833 High Pointe Drive in Newburgh, Indiana, made that change.

Owned and operated by the Family Restaurant Group — an organization of Evansville and Newburgh residents Manish and Amanda Malhotra and Jim and Linda Seib — the fresh Asian grill serves dishes centered around rich teriyaki sauce with a focus on Japanese preparation styles.

“We have been hammered since the day we opened,” says Manish. “Each day, we have grown in sales.”

From 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day, hungry patrons can order dine-in, carry-out, or delivery orders from Teriyaki Madness. Its menu is compact but offers a variety of options for dietary preferences.

“The perfect example is the power bowl. If you don’t want any noodles, you don’t want any rice, you get your veggies and chicken, and you’re good to go,” says Manish. “For vegetarians, we have spicy tofu.”

The menu is built around bowls, which start with a rice or noodle base; a large portion of vegetables including zucchini, carrots, onion, and broccoli; your choice of protein ranging from orange chicken or salmon to spicy chicken; and finally, a hearty drizzle of teriyaki. Katsu and yakisoba-style bowls are also available.

Sizes range from a small helping to a generous large, but if by some miracle you still have room in your stomach, order a crunchy appetizer like crab Rangoon or chicken potstickers, or an extra side of veggies, rice, or noodles.

“The food is absolutely amazing,” says Manish. “And that’s one of the things we always look for — the decor, the outside appearance is really good, but at the end of the day, the food is what matters.”

“And I have yet to come across a brand that does catering so well,” he adds.

In its first full week of operation, Teriyaki Madness ran out of crab Rangoon by 1 p.m. for several days due to its popularity. While the food is loaded with textures and the smoky, sweet blend of the teriyaki enhances every other ingredient’s natural flavor, the restaurant’s long-term success will likely be due to more than just the food. Manish and the restaurant group are focused on a true community dining experience.

The brand offers a mobile app which, along with a generous rewards program, allows customers to place delivery orders with Doordash, Uber Eats, and other food delivery services without paying extra rates.

During its employee training program before the restaurant opened, kitchen staff made more than 200 lunch bowls for local hospital employees. Manish has already lined up the restaurant’s first giveback fundraiser night with the Castle High School Choir in Newburgh.

“We want to be involved in fundraisers,” he says. “They can go to the website and fill out the form. They don’t even have to call the store.”

Family Restaurant Group did its research before bringing Teriyaki Madness to Evansville. The group, which also owns six Arby’s and all Wings Etc. restaurants in the Tri-State, considered the brand for almost eight months and even sent friends and family to the closest location in Hendersonville, Tennessee, for reviews.

Now, FRG is using the new brand to bring in second-generation members, with the Malhotras’ son and Seibs’ granddaughter holding leadership roles at the restaurant. With such a strong opening, it may just be the start for Teriyaki Madness in the Tri-State.

“We always want to bring a brand in, and fact check ourselves, test it out, but so far all of our brands we’ve brought in, we have multiple (locations),” says Manish.

teriyakimadness.com/locations/in-newburgh/

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