During Restaurant Week, I've talked a lot about how fortunate I am to get to check out my friends's work. Believe it or not, Moe's Original Bar & BBQ (my tenth stop) was the second place I'd checked out that I didn't know anyone. But by the time Adam and I left, we'd made friends and are already planning to make their patio our hangout for football on Saturdays.
Located in a hundred-year-old house in Lakeview, Moe's is a bar-b-que joint with a thing for local beer. Though the night's music hadn't started yet, the continuing patio weather made their porch an easy choice. If it hadn't been for a late night Friday and Adam thinking about going for a run, we would probably would have hung out for longer over a beer or a Bushwhacker.
This year was their first time to be part of Restaurant Week. According to General Manager Cody Sellers, Moe's wanted to participate to get more involved with the community. "The atmosphere puts us in a different niche than a lot of other restaurants in town," he says. Out on the patio, it's definitely true -- with the swamp cooler going and a mild breeze, it almost felt like the beach.
Then the food came. One of my favorite things that I've had before is the Redneck Nacho plate. On its own, it's a full meal. The last time I had eaten it -- potato chips made in house and seasoned with dry rub, cheese, meat, jalapeño, and tomato topped with both red and white sauce -- was Sidewalk Film Festival 2013. Its name might not be my favorite, but it was as delicious as I had remembered.
Some Southerners might say that cornbread with sugar in it is cake, but I enjoy a bit of sweetness. It was toasted to a slight crunch, and was one of my favorite parts of the meal. Though the pork was delicious, I favored the turkey over the pork. It's well smoked, and drizzled with both red and white sauce. Paleo friends, rejoice: their meats and their slaw can be served without sauces. Another highlight was the wings. Before being fried, they're brined and then smoked with white oak (previously hickory). They're spicy, vinegary and all around tasty.
We also got to try all of the sides. All of them. Though they were all tasty, we did have a few favorites. The sweet potato casserole side was sweet and buttery and creamy with a bit of crunch from the nuts and corn flakes on top. The mac and cheese was creamy and rich, while the potato salad was creamy and refreshing. If you're feeling extra Southern, the collards are salty and meaty with a bit of acid.
In eating so much food, we wanted to get to the desserts, but we were both so full that we just couldn't. We ended up eating the leftovers and desserts for dinner. At that point, we figured out that the banana pudding is a tasty blend of fruit, baking spice, and vanilla. It's banana flavor is much milder than most others, but it's still very tasty. The Mississippi Mud Pie dessert is a delicious chocolate mousse with chocolate sauce and Oreos.
Moe's porch is a great place to hang out. It's obvious that their employees are passionate about their food: several different people told us about coming back to work after the Snowpocalypse a few years ago. The common thread was that they had missed the food so much during the storm that they came back and ate all of their favorite dishes in one sitting. Many of the employees have been there for years. Their passion shows -- in Sellers' words, "I just want guests to love this place as much as I do."