Build your own burrito, that is
Renowned Philippine food concept owners and operators, The Bistro Group, has hit the piñata of gustatory goodness wide open with the launching of Moe’s Southwest Grill, America’s favorite burrito place in the Manila. Yes, it IS official! Harris Poll recently named Moe’s the Brand of the Year for fast casual Mexican restaurants in the US, and Manila foodies can now sample firsthand what the clamor is all about. On June 15, Moe’s rolled out not the red carpet, but the flour tortillas, with its first outlet located at the Uptown Mall in BGC. And what a Tex-Mex food fiesta it has been, thus far! The well-loved build-your-own-burrito (and more) establishment serves it up fresh and fast, with a whole lot of fun, minus the fuss, and food-lovers just cannot seem to get enough.
With scrumptious bestsellers, propriety sauces, salsas, and seasonings, as well as seemingly unlimited, appetizing options, it is no wonder that this Atlanta, Georgia-based dining outlet (which has well over 600 branches, Stateside, and now expanding worldwide) is taking the competition to town.
“The reception has been great, since our opening!” shared Jimmy Furst, Manager of International Operations Support of Focus Brands, the restaurant’s principal owners. “This is our first Moe’s in Asia, and it’s a huge deal for us. We thought that our seasoning would blend well with the Filipino palate, and it has come true,” he pointed out.
“We did some minor tweaking, but the flavors are basically the same as you get back in the States. There is a delicate balance to the tweaking, and we try to keep everybody happy. We’ve had lots of American customers come in, since we opened in Manila, and they have given us great feedback on the consistency of our dishes; they say it’s like a piece of home,” he added.
While some recipes were altered to better suit the local market, in careful coordination with Chef Josh Boutwood, The Bistro Group’s award-winning Executive Chef, these changes were made mostly on account of availability and quality of local ingredients, while Moe’s proprietary seasonings and trade secrets remain intact.
“To put it simply, we have maintained Moe’s DNA,” Ronald Olaes, Director for Operations of The Bistro Group stated.
Indeed, Moe’s DNA is nothing short of delectable. Each plate is bursting with the flavor that comes from perfectly seasoned proteins, the freshest of veggies and herbs, savory rice, premium signature salsas, and Moe’s crave-worthy Queso sauce.
Delicious fun, for everyone!
The party begins the moment you step through Moe’s large bay doors, as enthusiastic crew members yell out a friendly greeting – “Welcome to Moe’s!” – which is reflective of Moe’s positive atmosphere and energetic, fun vibe: bright, cheery interiors match the happy ambience, and catchy tunes play in the background to add to the upbeat feel.
“Moe’s stands for Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers, it’s an acronym for that. We keep things high-energy and fast-paced, and we really don’t take ourselves too seriously. We want everyone to have a good time – there are no rules as to how you should enjoy your food and your time at Moe’s,” Furst explained.
Customizable, high-quality flavor and freshness
With a menu that is largely customizable (let it never again be said that all Mexican food consists of the same old-same old ingredients!), it may prove difficult for newbies to decide on which palate-pleaser to indulge in. For starters, Moe’s makes a mean plate of Nachos – a generous helping of crunchy corn tortilla chips heaped with Moe’s legendary signature Queso sauce, beans, Pico de Gallo, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño. A word of caution, however: it is virtually impossible to stop munching on these crazy addictive chips, so bring your appetite, or a group of hungry friends along with you! An alternate appetite-opening dish would be the tangy, refreshing Salad Bowl; a concoction of Romaine lettuce, beans, shredded cheese, cilantro, Pico de Gallo, and cucumber nestled in a light and crisp tortilla bowl. Whether you choose to attack the tortilla bowl after wolfing down the salad, or prefer to break off pieces of it, as you go along, is all up to you. Just about anything goes, at Moe’s!
Of course, Moe’s is founded on burritos; and these flour tortillas (which are sheer perfection, with just the right elasticity, softness, and “bite”) stuffed with southwest rice, cilantro, lettuce, Queso sauce, beans, and Pico de Gallo are a must-try! Top-of-the-list would be the world-famous Homewrecker, everyone’s favorite steak burrito made with tender cuts of Australian grass-fed sirloin and rib eye. Each fully-loaded mouthful is an explosion of – pardon the pun – “burritoful” flavor! For those who are carb-conscious, Moe’s offers Burrito Bowls, as well; all the goodness of the filling, minus the tortilla wrap.
Another Moe’s signature item is the Stacks. Imagine a soft and chewy flour tortilla, slathered with Queso sauce, stacked with crunchy corn shells stuffed with the protein of your choice, cilantro, Pico de Gallo, and shredded cheese, then wrapped and grilled to decadent delight. These luscious, layered lovelies are heavy on the belly, but so worth it!
Those who prefer to BYOB, or build your own burrito, may choose from 20+ ingredients including steak, chicken, and pork, as well as all-time favorite add-ons like beans, handcrafted guacamole, Pico de Gallo and shredded cheese. Not a meat eater? No worries! Moe’s offers tofu and an array of vegetarian-friendly fixings. Guests can also customize their own tacos, nachos and quesadillas (the Chicken Quesadilla is a tasty treat, with chicken breast cubes pre-marinated for 24 hours, prior to grilling). Moe’s signature salsas come in five flavors, to please every taste preference: The Hard Rock-and-Roll Salsa, Roasted Tomatilla and Garlic Salsa, Kaiser Salsa, Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salsa, and the Mango Salsa (which is unique to Moe’s Philippines).
But wait, there’s more! Wash your meal down with a tall glass of refreshing MOEjito Juice or tangy Tamarind Iced Tea, and finish the whole experience off with the crumbly, creamy, sticky-sweet goodness of Moe’s mouth-watering Banoffee Tart. Plus, house rules dictate that every order is served with free chips and salsa of your choice!
Honestly awesome food, at honestly awesome prices
In a nutshell (or, should we say taco shell?): Moe’s is committed to honestly awesome food – and a whole lot of festive fun – at honestly awesome prices.
“We want you to come in, enjoy Moe’s freshness and quality, and leave with a full belly, but also without breaking your pocketbook,” Furst said.
Now that’s an invitation you just can’t refuse.
For more about Moe’s, check out www.moesph.com
By ANGIE DUARTE