By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer
Westborough – “Welcome to Moe's!” That traditional greeting is shouted to all customers upon entering Moe's Southwestern Grill. Accompanying the excited call to diners is the scent of freshly simmered meat, spices, and the steaming and grilling of tortillas. There's a new hot spot for southwestern flavors, and it's in Westborough at the new Moe's Southwestern Grill which opened May 1 on the corner of Route 9 and Otis Street.
I met a friend for lunch at the brand new location, and was impressed. The interior is filled with bright colors and interesting pictures of celebrity impersonators. Natural light floods in through lots of windows and skylights. You'sl also find fun: as you queue to order, you can's miss the giant menu explaining all of their fare, and the fun pop culture references they are named after, such as the “Art Vandelay” and the “Julia Gulia.”
You'sl also find that variety is one of the ways Moe's excels. Whether you'se in the mood for a burrito, taco, quesadilla, or a “Stack,” your choices of combinations and toppings are almost endless. Pork, steak, ground beef, chicken, veggies, and even tofu are available as the base of your meal. Fresh, premium ingredients are offered and added right in front of you so you can customize your entrée to taste. Lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese are joined by more unique elements such as black and pinto beans, fresh jalapenos, grilled onions, and fire-grilled corn pico de gallo.
Prices are affordable, from $3.79 to $8.29 for entrees. For an additional $2.94, you can make any entrée a meal with a side of Moe's famous queso or guacamole and a drink. Children's meals are $4.49 and under.
This reporter enjoyed the chicken “Wrong Doug” Stack ($8.29), which featured ingredients wrapped in a soft tortilla with a?crunchy tortilla in the middle, then grilled to melt the cheese. My friend tried “The Homewrecker” with steak ($7.39), a burrito filled with seasoned rice, beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole.
The menu is also kid-friendly and features meals like the “Moo Moo Mr. Cow” for $4.49. This includes a kid-sized burrito with seasoned ground beef or all-natural chicken, plus beans and shredded cheese. Also included are a small drink, chips and salsa, and a cookie.
After you receive your piping hot and fresh entree, head over to the salsa bar, and pick from up to five different offerings. We tried each one, and were pleased to find an interesting flavor array to enjoy with the house-made tortilla chips that come with every meal.
With state-of-the-art soda fountains, you can customize all of your favorite soft drinks as well. You should definitely try Moe's own exclusive drink, Vanilla at Peachtree. This a peach and vanilla concoction in regular and diet varieties that was sweet, refreshing and summer-y. Refills are complimentary, so feel free to experiment with flavors.
Owner Ryan Rouleau said, as at the other local Moe's restaurants, once the necessary permits are approved, the Westborough location will be offering beer and wine – and possibly margaritas as well.
We sat in a comfortable booth near one of the many windows, and noticed there are two big screen TVs for the enjoyment of their guests. However, our focus was on the zesty lunch in front of us. Every bite was hungrily enjoyed, and every chip was dipped and crunched we both agreed you could really taste the freshness. We also agreed to return for margaritas!
Moe's, located at 76 Otis St., is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. They can be contacted by phone at 508-329-5139, or visit www.moes.com.