Moe’s fresh, fast-casual style a hit in Houma

Donna Ruth Duggan Lile
October 2, 2012
Chabert hit with added cuts and job losses
October 5, 2012
Donna Ruth Duggan Lile
October 2, 2012
Chabert hit with added cuts and job losses
October 5, 2012

“Welcome to Moe’s,” the woman across the counter greeted us.

It was a great start to a surprisingly great outing.

Enter Moe’s Southwest Grill on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Houma, and your senses come alive. First, there are the vibrant, welcoming yellows, rusts and greens that adorn the walls – along with images of legendary musical look-alikes, but I’ll get to that later. Next, the scent draws you in; it’s the smell of fresh-cut ingredients, grilled meats and salsas.

Moe’s originally opened in December 2000 in Atlanta, Ga. The fast-casual restaurant franchise has since swept the South with its variety of made-to-order southwest fare. Each meal is made to your specifications. And each ingredient is prepared fresh each day.

You won’t find freezers or microwaves inside Moe’s. And the restaurant’s food contains no animal fat, lard or MSG, making it ideal for health-conscious eaters.

The restaurant was initially described as burrito heaven. Co-workers excitedly spoke of the “Homewrecker,” “Joey Bag of Donuts” and “Art Vandalay.”

To me, it was a foreign language. But after my recent visit with the crew, I now know a Homewrecker – available with your choice of chicken, tofu, ground beef, steak or pork – is packed with black or pinto beans, seasoned rice, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole and is served on your choice of a flour or whole grain tortilla.

Initially, the onslaught of choices are overwhelming. But, with the help of a friendly server, we were able to navigate the ingredients bar. My guest ordered a Homewrecker without the guacamole. We were informed by the burrito artists that she was actually getting a Joey Bag of Donuts.

The large white tortilla was stuffed with steak and all the fixings and topped with chipotle ranch dressing, which had a slightly tangy, subtle taste. The burrito earned two thumbs up.

The Art Vandalay, by the way, is a vegetarian burrito served with lettuce, sour cream and guacamole. No one tried it on this visit, but may give it a go next time.

Next up were the quesadillas. My guest had his loaded with pulled pork and intentionally loaded with grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers and a mix of other sides. He said it did not have a piled on effect, but was balanced by each ingredient’s portion. All in all, it was a very appealing blend of flavors.

Moe’s quesadilla choices include the John Coctostan, Chicken Club and, for vegetarians, the Super Kingpin.

The Chicken Rice Bowl – complete with seasoned rice, pinto beans, marinated chicken, grilled mushrooms and peppers, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and chipotle ranch – was a mixed bowl of deliciousness.

“I previously was a burrito man, but I would certainly look to get the rice bowl at a return trip,” my guest said.

One person in our crew enjoyed Moe’s nachos. They were piled high with ground beef, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, mushrooms, jalapenos and black beans and covered in queso. She reported fighting the urge to cover the pile with more ingredients but was afraid her chips would disappear in the stack.

My guest compared the seasoned ground beef to the meat her mom makes for her homemade chili. It simmers all day in a slow cooker. “This is every bit as good,” she said. And the fresh ingredients make a great meal for a nacho lover who is not shy when it comes to a messy meal.

One piece of advice: go light on the queso, unless you’re OK with spooning up soggy nachos.

My choice was easy: the taco salad.

Served in a taco bowl, it was loaded with chopped romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, pinto beans, pico de gallo, cucumbers, black olives, tomatoes, grilled onions and pulled pork. Given the choice of chipotle ranch or southwest vinaigrette, I went with the latter. It was an interesting blend of oil and seasonings, and made a perfect complement with each bite.

It’s worth noting, Moe’s also has tacos and fajitas, and every dish is served with a side of chips and salsa.

The surroundings are open and inviting. Two flat screens let diners stay abreast of the latest world or sporting news, and the great musical selection adds a nice background touch. Moe’s plays only songs performed by dead musicians, in honor of those who left us too soon, the manager said. The photos on the wall are winners in annual look-alike contests. Believe me, they are dead ringers for the likes of Michael Jackson and Bob Marley.

Moe’s Southwest Grill in Houma prides itself on its fresh, made-to-order Southwestern fare. Its customizable options include burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and fajitas. Guests can also choose from an array of vegetarian choices.



Gumbo Guru

$5.69 to $7.49

Gumbo Guru


Gumbo Guru

$5.59 to $7.39

Gumbo Guru