Moe's Southwest Grill

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Moe's Southwest Grill
Industry Fast casual restaurant
Founded 2000; 17 years ago (2000) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Number of locations
680+ (2017)[1]
Area served
North America
Key people
Paul Damico (President)[2]
Products Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Stacks, Nachos, Burrito Bowls, White Rice with a southwest seasoning and other Southwestern fare
Parent Focus Brands

Moe's Southwest Grill, referred to informally as Moe's, was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2000,[3] by Raving Brands. In August 2007, the brand was purchased by Focus Brands.[4] As of 2017, there were about 680 locations in operation in over 40 states.[5] According to the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend survey, Moe's is the "Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant of the Year", passing former top restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill even with fewer than half the number of locations as Chipotle has.[6][7]

The name "Moe's" originated as an acronym for "Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers," which is a theme shown in the music-related artwork in the restaurants.[8]

Fare names[edit]

Many of the menu items have names drawn from popular culture such as:

  • "Art Vandalay" and "Close Talker" (both from the television series Seinfeld, where "Art Vandalay" refers to George's alias as an architect and importer/exporter. "Close Talker" refers to Elaine's boyfriend who talks unusually close to people.)[9]
  • "Who is Kaiser Salsa", a reference to the infamous and mysterious villain in The Usual Suspects.
  • "El Guapo's Infamous Salsa", named after the villain in the movie Three Amigos.
  • The "Triple Lindy" burrito (no longer on the menu), a reference to the movie Back to School.
  • The "John Coctostan" quesadilla, a reference to the movie Fletch.
  • The "Billy Barou" nachos, a reference to the movie Caddyshack - later renamed "Alright, Alright, Alright" named after a quote from the movie Dazed And Confused.
  • The "Ruprict" may be a reference to Steve Martin's character "Ruprecht" in a scene from the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
  • The "Julia Gulia" stack, a reference to the movie The Wedding Singer
  • The "Earmuffs" burrito bowl, a reference to the movie Old School
  • The "Wrong Doug" stack, a reference to the movie The Hangover where the main characters mistake Mike Epps, a black man, for Doug for their Caucasian friend.
  • The "Joey Bag o' Donuts" burrito, is named after the Italian-American] slang term for a fat person.


Moe’s offers various types of southwest food on its menu for everyone. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, stacks, burrito bowls, and salsas are all served exactly how someone would like. More than twenty garden fresh ingredients are available to customers to create their own unique meal. These entrees list specific ingredients within it, but ingredients can be added or subtracted from it. Some ingredients may be an additional cost. Every order comes with chips and salsa on the side. The following list describes the food available to order:

• Ingredients offered for a meal creation are pork carnitas, grilled 100% grass-fed sirloin steak, grilled all natural-chicken, ground beef, organic tofu, bacon, guacamole, queso, rice, black or pinto beans, grilled or fresh onions, grilled green pepper, grilled mushrooms, shredded Monterey cheddar jack, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, diced tomato, jalapenos fresh or pickled, black olives, chopped cucumber, sour cream, southwest vinaigrette, chipotle ranch, hard rock n roll sauce, roasted corn pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro.[10]

• Joey bag of donuts, the homewrecker, and art vandalay are burritos offered at Moe’s. Every burrito comes in a junior size, for example, “homewrecker Jr.”. Both the homewrecker and joey bag of donuts have protein options, which includes grass-fed steak, chicken, pork carnitas, ground beef, and organic tofu. The art vandalay burrito does not contain any protein options since it is the vegetarian option. When ordering the joey bag of donuts, a person has the ability to choose a type of protein, flour or whole-grain tortilla, season rice, beans, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo. The homewrecker includes similar options to create a meal, such as protein, lettuce, seasoned rice, beans, flour or whole-grain tortilla, sour cream, and guacamole. The vandalay burrito consists of a flour or corn tortilla, beans, pico de gallo, seasoned rice, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. [11]

• Moe’s has four different types of tacos: the overachiever, funk meister, unanimous decision, and taco called wanda. Both the overachiever and funk meister have the choice of protein (steak, chicken, pork carnitas, ground beef or organic tofu) in a flour or hard shell corn tortilla, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, and beans, however the overachiever includes guacamole and sour cream. The vegetarian taco, unanimous decision, is served in a flour or crispy tortilla, with guacamole, beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and lettuce. Unlike the other items on the menu, the taco called Wanda has fish as its source of protein in a flour or corn tortilla with freshly made pico de gallo, coleslaw, cilantro, and lime wedge.[12]

• Moe’s serves three types of quesadillas: chicken club, john coctostan, and super kingpin. Chicken club is served in flour or whole-grain tortilla with chicken, lettuce, tomato, beans, shredded cheese, side of pico de gallo, sour cream, and chipotle ranch dressing. The john coctostan comes with the choice of flour or whole-grain tortilla with beans, shredded cheese, side of pico de gallo, and sour cream. Similar to the other entrees offered, a vegetarian option is available. The super kingpin is served in a flour or whole-grain tortilla with beans, shredded cheese, side of pico de gallo, and sour cream. [13]

• The billy barou and ruprict are the two types of nachos served at Moe’s. The billy barou is served with a pick of protein, beans, queso, pico de gallo, jalapenos, and black olives. A vegetarian option, ruprict, has beans, queso, pico de gallo, jalapenos, and black olives.[14]

• The close talker and personal trainer are the salads on the menu. The close talker has romaine lettuce, choice of protein, beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, cucumbers, black olives, chipotle ranch, southwest vinaigrette or LimeLite vinaigrette dressing. A vegetarian option, personal trainer, contains the same vegetables and dressings as the close talker.[15]

• Two types of stacks offered at Moe’s are wrong doug and julia gulia. The wrong doug contains an option of meat, beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and queso stacked between two crunchy corn shells wrapped in a grilled flour or whole-grain tortilla. Julia gulia, the vegetarian option, has the same ingredients besides the protein. [16]

• Burrito bowls on the menu are earmuffs and band camp. Earmuffs have a selection of protein, seasoned rice beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, and guacamole. The vegetarian option, band camp, has the same ingredients minus the protein. [17]

• Three types of salsas are offered: el guapo salsa, who is kaiser salsa, and tomatillo salsa.[18]

• Children do have the option to order a kids meal. A child can order a moo moo Mr. cow burrito, power wagon taco, or mini masterpiece quesadilla. Each kids meal comes with a drink, chips and salsa, and cookie. [19]

International locations[edit]

Garden Hills location
"the very first Moe's on earth"

Moe's has locations in Turkey and Russia. According to the company 'newsroom' website (, franchise partners also exist in Costa Rica [20] and Jamaica.[21]


In 2011 Moe's opened its first location outside the United States in Turkey.[22]


In September 2012 Moe's opened its first Russian franchise[23] located in the center of Moscow near the Kremlin on Pyatnitskaya Street.[24][25]


  1. ^ "FRANCHISE: MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL". entrepeneur. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  2. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, Moe’s Southwest Grill Names Paul Damico as Brand President, May 6, 2008
  3. ^ FOCUS Brands press release, FOCUS Brands to Acquire Moe’s Southwest Grill, April 11, 2007
  4. ^ Minnick, Fred, FOCUS Brands Buys Moe's Southwest Grill, QSR Magazine, April 11, 2007
  5. ^ "FRANCHISE: MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL". entrepeneur. Retrieved 2017-06-10. 
  6. ^ "The Harris Poll". Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  7. ^ "This restaurant just unseated Chipotle as the most popular Mexican chain". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-06-10. 
  8. ^ "9 Things You Might Not Know About Moe's Southwest Grill". 27 December 2015. 
  9. ^ McClurg, Kelly (2002-04-12). "Moe's Southwest Grill expanding in local market". Birmingham Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Mexican & Tex Mex Food Menu: Tacos, Burritos - Moe's Menu". Moes. 
  11. ^ "Burritos Near Me - Burrito Places Near Me - Mexican Burritos". Moes. 
  12. ^ "Mexican Tacos: Find Tacos Places Near Me - Moe's". Moes. 
  13. ^ "Quesadilla: Mexican Quesadillas at Moe's Southwest". Moes. 
  14. ^ "Nachos Near Me - Nachos - Mexican Nachos". Moes. 
  15. ^ "Taco & Mexican Salads - Moe's Southwest Grill". Moes. 
  16. ^ "Mexican Wraps - Mexican Flatbreads - Moe's Stacks". Moes. 
  17. ^ "Burrito Bowls - Mexican Burrito Bowl Restaurant - Moe's". Moes. 
  18. ^ "Mexican Salsas - Mexican Sauces - Moe's Southwest Grill". Moes. 
  19. ^ "Mexican Food For Kids - Mexican Restaurant Kids Menu - Moe's Southwest Grill". Moes. 
  20. ^ Matt Levin (November 24, 2012 "With Moe’s, finally a real Burrito in Costa Rica", Retrieved 18 July 2014
  21. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First Jamaican Location., Retrieved 18 July 2014
  22. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill Opens First International Location in Turkey/., Retrieved 18 July 2014
  23. ^
  24. ^ "13 Pyatnitskaya Street". Google Maps. 
  25. ^ Moe’s Southwest Grill to Open 50 Restaurants in Russia., Retrieved 18 July 2014

External links[edit]