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8.42 DININGMoe's Southwest Grill spread
Begun in Atlanta in 2000, Moe’s Southwest Grill has taken off astronomically. Their unique take on Mexican fare (not to mention their laid-back vibe) has garnered them quite a following, both in Chattanooga and across the country.
Walking through the door at a Moe’s ensures you’ll be greeted by a chorus of “Burristos” exclaiming “Welcome to Moe’s!” at the top of their lungs. The warm reception sets the tone for everything else you’ll experience. The items on the menu, from their famous burritos to their fajitas, the nachos to the salads, are often cheekily named. Bright colors abound and the playlist blasts hits from various deceased artists, many of whom are evoked on the walls.
The fresh vibe is omnipresent in the food, as well. With a no-microwave and no-freezer policy, you know your meal will be crafted from the tastiest of ingredients. Grain-fed and hormone-free meats are a given, and those with dietary restrictions are ensured plenty of options —gluten-free eaters, for instance, have more than 20 ingredients to choose from. Going down the line and choosing exactly what gets added on only further ensures that you’ll be getting exactly what you want.
Forgoing the famous Homewrecker burrito, I tried a limited-time menu item called the Taco Stack—kind of a cross between a taco and a burrito. I chose chicken and black beans, which were placed between two flat, crunchy taco shells, along with the toppings of my choice (jalapenos, black olives, and queso), and the whole bundle was wrapped in a flour tortilla and grilled to steaming perfection. A side of guacamole and sour cream completed the deal.
The result was phenomenal! The crunchy and soft textures battling each other was delightful, and the veggies made the chicken and that addictive white cheese somehow even more delicious. The guacamole was a delight as well—made in-house, its slightly chunky texture was accentuated by bursts of garlic. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the chips and salsa that come free with every meal —I’m a sucker for salsa, and three permanent and two rotating choices were each delicious. (I especially loved the Who Is Kaiser Salsa, and not only because of The Usual Suspects reference.)
If you work in the downtown area and can’t make it to a Moe’s during your lunch break, you’re in luck. The Moemobile marries the concept of a taco truck with their delicious take on the cuisine, and brings it to Warehouse Row from Monday to Thursday, and Miller Plaza on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you get tired of having to lug everyone else’s food back along with your own, Moe’s also does some killer catering, from their queso and salsa all the way up to the Fajita Bar, replete with rice, beans, and all the fixings. Furthermore, if you’ve got a big enough crowd, you can book the Moemobile on weekends.
Moe’s also loves fundraisers of all sorts, from the corporate level, where they donate a dollar for juvenile diabetes causes every time you make your entrée into a meal, to the local level, where they proudly support T.C. Thompson’s Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Contact them to arrange a night where your favorite charity gets the proceeds.
As if you need any more reasons to get to your local Moe’s, each location has its own Kids’ Night, where they’ll eat free! Not only will your family love the food, but you can make sure your kids actually listen to some decent music for once, to boot. I just might see you there —I don’t have kids, but I’m jonesing for a fix of that queso already.
Moe’s Southwest Grill, locations in Chattanooga, Hixson, and Cleveland. For more information on catering, call (800) 905-2632 or visit moesonwheels.com