We typically stay away from reviewing chain restaurants in Connecticut but Moe’s Southwest Grill inspired us to “break the mold.” Imagine a Taco joint that functions like a typical Subway restaurant.. You can design your own Tex-Mex dish with a variety of toppings. Sounds like a delicious combination, right? Consumers love choice, especially when it comes to food. If you travel to West Hartford, Glastonbury or any of Moe’s 358 locations across the United States, you can try this unique style. We stopped by Moe’s in Glastonbury to measure the hype. Here’s the verdict:
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Overall Grade: B
Locations: 54 Memorial Road, West Hartford, CT
30 State House Square, West Hartford, CT
2450 Main Street, West Hartford, CT
Chain rating system: We have to change the rating system up for chain restaurants because you cannot apply some factors to an entire chain. We cannot rate the service of the restaurant because it may not apply to other Moe’s restaurants. We also cannot rate the atmosphere of the restaurant for the same reason. Chain restaurants differ in their physical and psychological makeup. We can rate the ingredients, variety, price and portions because these factors are universal. We will also start to reward extra credit to any restaurant or establishment if we find they earn it.
Ingredients: 9/10-The “ingredients” category substitutes taste because you cannot apply the taste of dishes at one restaurant to every restaurant in a chain. Ingredients, however, are generally consistent throughout chains. You can add fresh meats like grilled chicken, grilled steak, pulled pork and bacon to your dish. You get real pieces of meat with your order. These pieces don’t take on a rubbery facade like the meats at some restaurants. The tomatillo salsa and kaiser salsa actually provide a “kick” to them. The actual spice distinguishes Moe’s from other Tex Mex restaurants. We especially recommend the roasted corn pico de gallo and guacamole because they’re a flavorful combination for your taste buds. For more ingredients, check out-http://www.moes.com/food/ingredients/
Variety: 8/10-Moe’s has a limited variety on their menu. They offer a small variety of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads, fajitas and rice bowls. But what Moe’s lacks in variety they make up for in their ingredients. You can customize these menu items with seemingly numerous combinations. Your ability to customize distracts from Moe’s small menu items.
Price: 6/10-Moe’s prices would be fine for a sit-down restaurant like Chili’s but they’re steep for a fast food joint. For example, you will spend over $3 for a taco you’d pay $1 for at Taco Bell. For small two tacos, one taco salad, two drinks and a small side of chips, we paid over $20. If you replicated this order at Taco Bell, you’d spend half this amount. You also have to spend extra for toppings Tex-Mex lovers crave like guacamole. This seems like a clever way for Moe’s to garner more money out of hungry people’s pockets. But to be fair, Moe’s subtracts $.50 to $1.00 for every additional taco you buy,
Portions: 7/10-You would think that bigger prices mean bigger portions, but, not at Moe’s. If you order a small taco, you can barely fit the ingredients inside. This limits the costumer from fully taking advantage of their customization privileges. If you wanted to fill your taco with all the ingredients listed above, they would overflow onto your plate. I found this happened with my taco.
Extra Credit: +3-We reward Moe’s with a few extra credit points for the customization style. They distinguish themselves from other Tex-Mex restaurants by allowing customers this level of choice.
In a nutshell: 33/40-Moe’s scores a solid B. We recommend you visit Moe’s for their unique style and admirable selection of ingredients. Just be prepared to spend a little more than you’d expect to at a fast food restaurant.