The concrete walls and austere architecture of Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Plaza is one of the last places lunchgoers may expect to find one of Downtown’s most popular coffee shops and eateries. Obscured behind an unassuming gray door at the corner of the plaza’s entrance at 1 S.E. Ninth St., The Daily Grind is a portal, transporting customers to fresh food, hot drinks, and a relaxed social environment.
A stark contrast to its surroundings, The Daily Grind recalls feelings of a European cafe. Coffee-centric decor and sleek leather chairs fill the room while treat-covered counters bustle with the activity of a hungry lunch crowd.
The restaurant has served breakfast (6:30-10:30 a.m.), lunch (10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.), coffee, and bakery items to Downtown Evansville since Tara Gore opened The Daily Grind’s doors in December 2017. Its focus is not on one particular cuisine or menu item, but rather the ingredients behind each dish.
The Daily Grind is known for vegan options and made-from-scratch additions, including pesto and a hollandaise spread produced in house.
During Evansville Living’s lunchtime visit this week, we snagged one of the few empty tables and devoured the Al Capone. A toasted baguette sandwich stacked with ham, capicola, salami, pepperoni, melted provolone cheese, red onion, black olives, green peppers, lettuce, tomato, and a drizzle of Italian dressing, the Al Capone was reminiscent of a supreme pizza, save for the red sauce.
“Mangia! The Al Capone sandwich certainly transports you right to Little Italy,” says Staff Writer Riley Guerzini. “With New York deli meats and toppings, this sandwich tastes more like a slice of pizza stuffed between two pieces of bread.”
Guerzini and I split the hearty, juicy $9.99 sandwich and a side of Lay’s chips. Patrons can also choose from baked potato salad, baby carrots, apples, cottage cheese, or applesauce as their side. Other options are available for an additional charge.
While the line can get long, The Daily Grind keeps up with the rush of dine-in and to-go orders, securing its place as a hotspot for lunchtime diners and early risers across Downtown Evansville.
Interior photo provided by Daily Grind.