2013-05-15 / Restaurant of the Week

Moe’s Southwest Grill

“Welcome to Moe’s” is exactly what you’ll hear when you walk in the front door of Queens’ first Moe’s Southwest Grill. The friendliness of the staff doesn’t stop after their initial welcome. They continue to smile as they prepare your favorite southwest dishes from Moe’s environmentally conscious menu to your precise specifications. Moe’s describes its concept as ‘delicious simplicity, serving food that sustains our resources and is healthier for our guests. Moe’s offers flavorful, high quality ingredients while being mindful of environmental impact and nutritional content.”

Moe’s is already a sensation in other parts of the country, so why not here in Queens? Thanks to Mr. Patel, Moe’s has arrived to everyone’s delight, with two more locations to open in the near future. Irene, the amiable manager, thinks the best thing about Moe’s is the fun, friendly, family atmosphere, highlighted by fresh food, made on the premises. In fact, all the vegetables are chopped here, the hormone-free meats are grilled here, and even the crunchy tortilla chips are made here fresh from whole grain corn, each and every day. You’ll taste the difference in these chips which are free with every order.

Take a look at Moe’s menu, which boasts “No microwave, no trans fats and no MSG.” Better still, the beef, pork, and chicken used in their delicious recipes are allnatural and hormone-free. You can substitute organic tofu in nearly every dish here at Moe’s if you prefer. There are plenty of gluten-free options as well, along with a choice of whole wheat tortillas. Even with all the health benefits, Moe’s food is just plain delicious!

Here’s how it works: the menu is posted on the wall and the kitchen is displayed before your eyes, manned by the friendly staff. You’ll find burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos, burrito bowls, salads and more on the menu. Simply choose your dish and your filling, be it beef, chicken, pork, or tofu, then the kitchen staff will assemble it before your eyes, including all your favorite toppings. Choose from fresh guacamole, green tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, onions, corn salsa, shredded cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, black beans or pink beans.

We started with a quesadilla called “chicken club” because it’s layered with chunks of chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and chipotle sauce. We chose whole wheat tortillas and in a moment, our quesadilla was assembled, grilled on the spot and served piping hot ($7.49). The Super Kingpin quesadilla is a vegetarian option, so fill it with rice, beans, tofu or any four fillings of your choice ($4.59). These quesadillas are generously filled and can be shared or enjoyed as a meal for one. Nachos beg to be shared and the Billy Barou is loaded with chicken, tofu, ground beef, pork, or steak plus any of your favorite toppings.

Crunchy salads are served in a bowl made from their fresh tortillas. Chopped romaine lettuce, beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, cucumbers and black olives comprise the base of the salad, while you choose the “Close Talker” with your choice of meat and any of their fresh ingredients ($7.59). The “Personal Trainer” is a vegetarian version of the Salad Bowl and makes a very satisfying meal for lunch or dinner.

No one can resist Moe’s tacos and you can choose a crunchy shell or a soft taco. I loved the seasoning in the ground beef, layered on with beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato and sour cream and guacamole if you wish. Buy two tacos and save $1; buy three tacos and save $1.25 so put your order in for chicken, pork and steak tacos.

Burritos are my favorite southwest treat. Moe’s burritos require two hands and a hearty appetite to enjoy all the fabulous fillings and remember…you choose everything yourself, so you get it just the way you like it. The natural, hormone-free steak had just come off the grill and the friendly server placed it in the tortilla with rice, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo. Then I topped it off with fresh corn salsa, pickled jalapeños, black beans, and a shot of hot sauce. My burrito is called “Joey Bag of Donuts” or you could try the “Joey Jr.”, the “Homewrecker” with sour cream and guacamole or the vegetarian “Art Vandalay”. Save on some carbohydrates and have your burrito in a bowl, layered with all your favorite ingredients.

There’s a kids menu with “Moo Moo Mr. Cow”, “Power Wagon” and “Mini Masterpiece” which all include an all natural cookie and a kids’ drink. Speaking of drinks, the cool beverage machine allows you to mix soda, juice and tea flavors together to create your own special drink. Sweeten your palate with a Moe’s all natural chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, or chocolate cookie. Carvel soft serve ice cream is served at Moe’s so you needn’t go elsewhere for dessert. Choose vanilla, chocolate or the swirl and top it with sprinkles or candies.

Moe’s Southwest Grill serves healthy fast food with a conscience. They’re open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, or anytime snack. Come with your friends and your family for a fun, friendly meal and let them say “Welcome to Moe’s!”

30-33 Steinway Street  Astoria


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