First things first: Moe’s is located in a strip of shops at 9050 Carothers Parkway in Cool Springs, near Basil Asian Bistro. From the outside, it looks small, but the restaurant is fairly deep, with a bar along the left side that offers plenty of happy hour seating (and libations).
When you walk in, the first thing you notice is these guys are Alabama fans (actually, both the company founders and the Franklin owners are alumni) and possibly reformed ski bums. The décor is actually kind of fun; sort of an SEC ski lodge feel (with an emphasis on the southernmost schools). The next thing you notice is the excellent service. Friendly, eager, and fast. When you enter, you pick up a menu and head past the bar to the back counter to place your order. Get a drink and have a seat and your food comes out shortly thereafter. It’s great for a fast weekday lunch.
A big chalkboard displays the specials and sides of the day. Side items are made from scratch and vary from day to day (and location to location) and are based on what’s available seasonally. I was lucky enough to stop in on a day when there were several vegetarian sides to choose from (though the red beans and rice and baked beans available that day were not vegetarian).
I ordered the fried green tomatoes, cole slaw, macaroni-and-cheese and an extra banana pudding. My plate also came with a piece of yellow deep dish cornbread that had bits of pepper in it, but was mostly sweet. The macaroni-and-cheese was decent, but not spectacular and heart-attack-inducingly rich and creamy the way I like it. But it would be great for kids.
The banana pudding (which I was too stuffed to finish) was also much enjoyed by my toddler but not so much by me, as it was more like a thick banana mousse. Good — and very banana-y — but not what I was expecting.
The star of the plate, though was the fried green tomatoes. I’ve given it some thought, and I do believe they were in the top 3 I’ve ever had. The cole slaw, which is a sweet vinegar slaw like I make at home — was also fantastic. So, overall, it was a great meal. And filling! There was a lot more food to that than it appeared.
My husband — who has gladly taken my place as the family barbecue expert — ordered a sandwich “Alabama style,” which means it’s topped with cole slaw, red sauce and then doused in Alabama white sauce, a delicious concoction I became familiar with thanks to Smoke Et Al. Moe’s version of the white sauce is just as good — I know, because we asked for a side of it to use as a condiment for the housemade chips. This was a stroke of genius on our part. He also got an order of baked beans which he said were good.
Note, though, that Alabama style barbecue is a bit different from the pit barbecue in Memphis and what Martin’s and some of the others around here are doing. It’s cooked inside a big metal smoker. And either as a result of that — or perhaps timing — it’s chewier. Others have noted that the rib meat doesn’t just fall off the bone like many places because they’re going for a different texture. It’s a bit drier than what you get from Martin’s and some of the other top restaurants in the area. My husband really liked his sandwich, though, and the advantage for me was that my hair still smelled like shampoo when I left since the smoker is enclosed. It’s the little things …
Anyway, there are other things you should know about Moe’s. Call ahead and the staff can tell you exactly which items are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. There’s a really well-stocked bar that offers $1.50 Busch cans, $2 Miller High Life bottles and $5 Bushwackers every day. For happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday), they offer $1 off drafts, $2 domestic beers and $3 well drinks. Additionally, their weekly specials are definitely something to note if you live or work in the area. On Mondays, kids eat free with parents after 5 p.m.; on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. until close, you can get “beers and bones” for $1 each; and on Wednesdays, you can get 50-cent wings and $3 housemade sangria.
Moe’s Original Bar B Que
9050 Carothers Parkway, # 104
Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
“Bar open as long as there are customers”