I’m pretty partial to Moe’s Original BBQ. I eat there often and have resisted writing about them because I’m biased. But with good reason! It’s a good story and great food every time. Not just one location, but every one I’ve been to, including Vail, Colorado where it all began.
A brief history: Moe’s was started after three friends graduated from the University of Alabama and decided to move to Vail to ski after college. One, Mike Fernandez learned how to smoke meats as a youngster from an older gentleman named Moses Day. His grandmother was also an excellent cook, so Mike had some really good recipes for side dishes.
With no income, the three friends soon ran out of funds and needed a job. They started a roadside barbeque stand in Vail, named it Moe’s after Mike’s friend, Moses, then opened another store in Edwards, Colorado, and the rest is history. That was in 2001 and some 60 stores later, Moe’s is a big operation, but I wouldn’t place the franchise tag on them. Moe’s grew organically from within. It was mostly college graduates that started working there and then grew into owning their own restaurants.
My son and his friend, Steven Lane, were two that took Moe’s to New Orleans several years ago after working for a full year in the Colorado corporate stores. I’ve been to Moe’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Vail and Edwards, Colorado, Destin, Tuscaloosa, New Orleans, of course, and a few in Birmingham. I’ve also eaten many times at the six locations in the Scenic 98 Coastal area: Orange Beach, Foley, Daphne, Downtown Mobile, Airport Boulevard at University, and West Mobile in Semmes, so I am truly qualified to say that Moe’s is always consistently good everywhere I go.
I know the menu by heart, especially the daily specials, so when I drove to the Daphne location for Meatloaf Monday a while back, only to discover that they were closed because of staffing issues, my heart sank along with my tastebuds. Then just last week, my friends and neighbors, Bob and Eleanor Ford told me they were open again on Mondays, so I couldn’t wait for the week to roll around again.
I met Patrick who was working the outside patio and bar area and placed my order, and we began talking. (Food was delicious by the way; meatloaf, butter beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, and a nice slice of cornbread.) Moe’s Daphne is back to full operation 7-days a week. They open at 11 and close as late as needed, depending on the crowd.
Every Wednesday is Trivia Night and 92-ZEW hosts Bingo Night from time to time when the Downtown Mobile store is reserved for a private event. There is live music every Friday night. Each Moe’s I’ve been to has special side dishes that change daily and, depending on the location, cater to popular local dishes. They also have a set menu of sides that you find at most BBQ joints, but they are really good too. You can’t go wrong.
The Daphne store is interesting. It’s tucked away in an old house, on an off-the-beaten-path road to Bayfront Park on Mobile Bay. It’s worth discovering. The food is excellent. The problem is in choosing what to order. I usually get take-out barbeque for parties and events we are hosting. The award-winning ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and all the fixings including red sauce and their secret Alabama white BBQ sauce are hard to beat. They have the best “fall off the bone” wings ever!
But don’t overlook the Thanksgiving sandwich on Thursdays or the Fried Catfish sandwich with Marinated Slaw. They have brisket on Wednesdays and Sundays, and Blackened Mahi on Fridays. They have just introduced a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich on Tuesdays, made from the best part of the chicken, the thighs. I never pass up their collard greens when they are on the specials board. The smoked turkey or the smoked sausage are hidden gems, too.
I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, you could eat there every day and have something different that is always delicious. Moe’s caters for any event, large or small. We order their smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving with pans of side dishes.
Plan on Moe’s for lunch, dinner, after kids’ athletic events, corporate outings, or anything where good food is required. And you won’t break the bank, I promise.
Moe's is located at 6423 Bayfront Park Drive, Daphne, AL 36532 and check out their website for more information!