Moe’s v. Chipotle pt. 2

15 12 2010

I went to Moe’s Southwest Grill today to complete my comparison of the new Chipotle Mexican Grill that opened across the street. I tried to get as close to the same item as possible. I decided that Moe’s “Home Wrecker” was the closest thing to the burrito I tried at Chipotle.

When you walk into Moe’s, you’re greeted with a resounding “Welcome to Moe’s” from the staff. I think that’s one of the first differences I notice. Moe’s is very mush an “at home” kinda place as opposed to Chipotle’s somewhat stuffy, industrial feel. And the staff is friendly. I started thinking about yesterday at Chipotle and I stood around, as did others, trying to figure out where to start. Not only was it not clearly marked, the staff didn’t seem too concerned about helping the customer figure it out. And Moe’s seems to value individuality. Most of the staff seem to be tattoo’d, pierced, or have some form of body modification and they are so chill and laid back. It truly makes for a very pleasant environment.

On to the food. Typically at Moe’s, I’d go with a wheat tortilla and tofu. I decided to go with a flour tortilla with chicken today to keep a level playing field. Moe’s also starts with a bed or rice and choice of black or pinto beans. Like I said, I got the chicken so that I could directly compare. I also added the fresh grilled vegetables. They add pico de gallo sour cream, and guacamole. Moe’s has a choice of a ton of other toppings, though. I decided that adding these things was part of the comparison; it could enhance the flavor in a way that isn’t available at Chipotle. So I added fresh onion, fresh jalapeno, black olives, fresh cilanro, and fresh spinach leaves.

But let me back up a step. The chips. Unlike Chipotle, Moe’s makes their chips fresh. You can watch them deep fry them as you’re having your food made. And the flavor couldn’t be better. They’re so good. And they have several salsas to choose from. A couple of them are variations on traditional tomato salsa, but my personal favorite is the green salsa that has green tomato, onion, fresh cilantro, and a few other things. It’s so cool and fresh; it’s just great.

As for the burrito, it’s pretty good. Not gonna lie, I think the flavors of the meat and rice at Chipotle is better. Not that Moe’s is bad; I love Moe’s. But the flavors are just not as strong. But Moe’s does have all of the additional fresh toppings and they don’t cost anything extra. Those additional toppings really add something special.

Even though I think Chopitle’s flavors are better, I see myself eating at Moe’s more often. The atmosphere, the staff, and the way I can customize my food really go somewhere with me. I would definitely recommend both places though. Try them and see what your favorite might be.

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