Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Moe's Southwestern Grill

Believe it or not, we ate at surprisingly few restaurants during our eight day 2400 mile sojourn across the country. We were blessed with yummy home cooked meals on many occasions and begrudgingly ate at way too many McDonalds in between in an effort to secure the full arsenal of Disney's "Cars" tie-in toys.

Moe’s Southwestern Grill
Somewhere in Amarillo Texas

Warren and I actually took the monkeys (Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2) to Moe’s Southwestern Grill out on Poplar after we walked out of Mama Fu’s in disgust. My coworker had told me that people actually line up down the strip mall at lunch to eat there, so I was fairly optimistic about the food quality.

However, after being completely ignored by every teenage non-Asian that worked at Mama Fu’s, I was quick to walk out of Moe’s when no one there offered to take our order in the first few minutes of us standing at the counter. I quickly figured that Moe’s and Mama Fu’s must be owned by the same people. I deemed them unworthy of my money due to their being a franchise built on cultural appropriation.

(Out of desperation, we ended up spending our hard earned dollars at the Chik-fil-A across the lot. Satchel sharted in his underwear and ended up finishing his meal in one of Jiro’s diapers and no pants. It was fun.)

Anyways, back to Amarillo.

After traveling for several hours with the monkeys, our main priority was finding something quick to eat and a playground. We pulled over at a health food store thinking we’d grab something healthy and nutritious, but the deli was closed. Next door was a Moe’s.

“We could grab some burritos to take to the playground,” I said to Warren.

“Okay,” he agreed.

We walked in to find that the place wasn’t too crowded and they were playing the Ramones. I quickly scanned the burrito menu, but was forced to read it in full thanks to kitchy names like Joey Bag of Donuts, Triple Lindy, Homewrecker, and Art Vandalay which gave absolutely no clue to the contents of the tortilla. Ditto on the Kid’s Menu which featured Puff the Magic Dragon, Moo Moo Mr. Cow, and Mini-Me.

Once Warren decided on the Art Vandalay (Rice, beans, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce), I instructed him to take the monkeys to the bathroom for a potty break/diaper change. I was going to order the fish tacos, but knew that they would suck next to the ones Senor Dreamy lovingly serves at Las Tortugas, so I went with the Art Vandalay too. I decided to get Satchel a Puff the Magic Dragon (a.k.a. a taco) since he has been on a major taco kick since I introduced him to the joys of Taco Bell. I ordered Jiro a Moo Moo Mr. Cow (a.k.a. a mini burrito) even though I doubted he would eat it. (He had been on a strict "cheese, chips, and candy only diet for most of our adventure.)

I placed my order with a young girl behind the counter and stood patiently as she methodically steamed tortillas and marked silver foil with her sharpie. Much like at Subway (and the awesome authentic burrito stands in San Francisco), I got to tell the gal exactly what I wanted in each tortilla (i.e. black or pinto beans, hot or mild salsa, mushrooms, peppers, cilantro, guacamole, etc.). I was actually impressed by my ingredient choices and had it not been for the prepackaged d├ęcor, I would say that it very closely mimicked my beloved burrito experiences on the West Coast.

There were several youngsters working behind the counter and very few people in the restaurant like I said, but it still took the girl a long time to get everything together. (Something that could surely cause a line to form around the block at lunch time.) Warren returned with the monkeys before our order was done. The monkeys kept themselves busy attempting to scale the counter while we waited for the girl to finish everything up. I was pleased to discover that the kids’ meals came with multicolored tortilla chips, a cookie, and a drink in a sturdy plastic cup with a lid and straw. Our burritos also came with chips and we had a pretty wide selection of salsa that we could help ourselves to at the condiment bar.

Satchel plopped down at a table and was ready to eat, but we had already gotten directions to a playground and were ready to have a picnic. (You would think that after 4 years of parenting we would know better than to distract our child from eating his dinner!)

We drove a few blocks to a really awesome playground next to Amarillo college and set ourselves up at a picnic table. Satchel and Jiro each ate one red tortilla chip before heading off to the equipment. “Oh well, they can eat it later in the car,” I said.

As Warren and I unwrapped our burritos, we were both like, “These are HUGE!”

“Just like in San Francisco,” I said.

“There’s no way I can eat the whole thing,” he said.

Then we stopped talking and proceeded to eat our burritos in their entirety. Not bad at all.

We hung out at the playground awhile longer and then piled back in the car. I couldn’t interest either of the monkeys in their dinners and eventually gave up. My stomach hurt the whole way to Oklahoma City and I had to roll my window down on several occasions if you know what I mean.

Satchel finally ate his taco cold the next morning for breakfast while watching my aunt ride her horse. Jiro’s burrito was thrown out (along with the chips and cookies) with my approval by my aunt after having it sit untouched on her kitchen table for several hours.


Unknown said...

There is not a Moe's Southwestern Grill in Amarillo Texas....So I am not sure how you ate there!

Stacey Greenberg said...

Three and a half years ago there was!

MiMi said...

Do they still yell, "WELCOME TO MOOOOOEEE'S" at everyone who walks in the door?

Anonymous said...

I would give Moe's in Memphis another chance. I hear they are now owned by the same guys at Humdingers. And they've got 3 locations too, so yay for convenience.

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