Hey remember that time you went to that restaurant and you ordered those nachos and they gave you some and you were all like “But this has all those ingredients that I don’t like and none of those ingredients that I like”? Of course you do, and if you say otherwise you’re only lying to me and, even sadder, yourself. But what if I told you that you can have the power in your hands to create your own nachos, with toppings of your own choosing? Madness you say? Nay I say.
When you go down to your neighborhood sandwich shop and you walk to the counter, shouting your topping predilections as you go, what comes out on the other end of their production line is a meal made to your exact specifications. A trip to Moe’s Southwest Grill is just like that, only replace “sandwich” with “nachos”, and really when you have the option between sandwiches and nachos why would you even consider the former? Plus, Moe’s doesn’t serve sandwiches.
Moe’s Southwest Grill was founded in Atlanta Georgia back in 2000, its first restaurant is now topped with a sign stating “The Very First Moe’s on Earth”, but a lot has changed since those early days. In 2007 they were purchased by Focus Brands (Owners of Schlotzky’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, and Auntie Anne’s) and are currently going global, opening restaurants in both Turkey and Russia for a grand total of almost 500 locations worldwide. So has “going global” caused this indie darling to sell out? If I wanted to be scandalous I could say yes, but we deal in nacho truths here and the truth is that its deliciousness hasn’t changed a bit, although the chips did change from being multicolored to your standard tortilla tan.
When you go to your local Moe’s you open the door and are immediately greeted by the staff with a hearty “WELCOME TO MOE’S!”. When I say hearty, that really depends on what time of day you go, as towards closing the shouting is more a whimper than a bang after a day of shouting at every customer that walks in the door. Once the shock from the greeting has subsided you walk to the counter and must then ponder your choice of nachos, because you have two:
(1) The Ruprict. Presumably named, though misspelled, after the Steve Martin character from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, this is basically your chips, cheese, and any veggie toppings you would want. Lacking in meat, I don’t buy this, but if meat ain’t your thing this could be. Otherwise there’s always...
(2) The Billy Barou. Insert Caddyshack reference here, such as one about the ol’ Billy Barou. This is your money nachos because in addition to everything The Ruprict has it also has what Moe’s bills as “Protein”, which means a meat or tofu topping. There’s certainly no better way I can think of to sex up a product than referring to it coming covered in protein.
It’s tough to give an opinion on a food as a whole when you choose all the ingredients you want on it. If you only choose the toppings you love it will taste delicious, but if you choose ones you hate, not only will you loath it but I also don’t know why you’d do that to begin with. We must look at the ingredients separately, and since they’re all delicious, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you can’t go wrong here. If you love any of the following; grilled chicken, grilled steak, pulled pork, ground beef, organic tofu, bacon, guacamole, sour cream, queso, rice, black beans, pinto beans, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, shredded cheese, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, diced tomatoes, fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos, diced onions, black olives, chopped cucumbers, cilantro, or chips, then you can make a combination you won’t just like, but you’ll also eat. If none of those toppings are for you, I think you need to get out of the nacho game entirely. Just don’t think about the fact that you’re eating over a thousand calories and at least 130% for your daily saturated fat and sodium intake, but is that really any better or worse than nachos anywhere else?
The ideal nacho experience would be a salad bar, only replace everything with nacho ingredients. Instead of your four different types of lettuce, you’d have four different types of chips. Instead of carrots, you’d have four different types of lettuce, assuming you like lettuce on your nachos. Probably a lot of the other salad bar fair would crossover, not the beets or artichoke hearts of course, but you get the idea. Maybe one day or somewhere there is a restaurant with a nacho bar, but I have yet to see one. Until then, Moe’s meets not only 95% of my nacho specifications, but 100% of my taste specifications and 110% of my heart.