Last month, Think Tasty readers had the opportunity to choose the best restaurant in the Southeast region. With ten fabulous restaurants on our list, picking the best was a difficult decision. Voting was constant, with readers adding their votes and leaving comments raving about their restaurants until the end. When voting was done, the restaurant that earned the most votes was Moe’s Original Bar B Que.
I was able to speak with Mike Fernandez, one of the founders and co-owners.
TT: Where was Moe’s founded?
MF: Moe’s Original Bar B Que was founded by three Bama boys: me, Ben Gilbert, and Jeff Kennedy. After meeting at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, we instantly became friends and had a mutual interest in all things Southern: BBQ, live music, college football, and whisky.
TT: Who taught you the art of barbecuing?
MF: I hooked up with Moses Day in Tuscaloosa and began learning to fire roast meats. When Moses fired up his backyard barrel pit, everyone in T-Town knew where to go. We boys were lucky to learn from Moses and his distinct style that makes up Moe’s original flavor of BBQ.
TT: How is ‘Bama-style barbecue different than other styles of barbecue?
MF: I think Bama Style BBQ is fresh smoked meats and Southern Soulfood side dishes, so it is like a meat and three. Everyday in addition to our traditional BBQ sides, we also prepare a mix of Southern Soulfood sides like collared greens, fried green tomatoes, jambalaya, gumbo, peas and grits.
TT: Does the menu at Moe’s change?
MF: Since we are still a young company I believe our menu is still evolving. When we opened shop with a trailer on the side of the road in Vail, Colorado, eight years ago we only served pulled pork, smoked chicken, and pork spare ribs. Over the years as we have now grown into a 16 restaurant family, our menu now includes smoked turkey breast, smoked wings, fried catfish, and the best fried shrimp sandwich in the world. Jeff, Ben and I took ideas from our favorite BBQ joints around the South and built a concept and menu. Moe’s Original Bar B Que is a Southern Soulfood Revival. We serve great food in an atmosphere that is relaxed, spontaneous, and civilized…sometimes.
TT: What makes Moe’s unique?
MF: Every Moe’s Original Bar B Que is unique, almost a reflection of the three of us and our relationship with that particular partner. Most have bars and stages for music. Our Denver store has eight lanes of bowling in the restaurant.
TT: What makes your base of patrons so loyal?
MF: We are very proud of our loyal patrons, and I believe they are so loyal because we serve food with integrity, generous portions at the right price.