Moe’s Original BBQ: A South, West, South Movement

Staff Writer
Our contributor shares a meal at Moe's Original
Facebook/Moe's Original Bar B Que
Facebook/Moe's Original Bar B Que
Moe's Original Bar-B-Que has several locations across the country.

Three “Bama Boys,” or men from Alabama, founded Moe’s Original BBQ. None of them are named Larry or Curly, but there is definitely a Moe in the big picture.

When Mike Fernandez, Ben Gilbert, and Jeff Kennedy discovered their common interests included BBQ, a spark ignited. Soon after in 1988, Mike learned the art of roasting meats from Tuscaloosa, Ala.’s “it” man of BBQ: Moses Day. From ol'Moe, the “Bama Boys” learned well, giving birth to Moe’s Original BBQ.

So from Alabama to the Rocky Mountains they traveled, ending up in Vail, Colo. with BBQ skills in tow. In 2001, their perfected style of fruitwood-smoked meats hit with two sauces, ten Southern style sides, and desserts in a relaxed atmosphere where you can lick your fingers or even smack your lips. It took off.

By 2007, after opening several locations in Colorado, they opened in Orange Beach, Ala. Then came Birmingham, in 2008, followed by six other Alabama locations, leading up to the 2011 Atlanta, Ga. Sandwiched between Atlantic Station and Georgia Tech, Moe’s Original BBQ offers a casual environment with a full bar and the kind of BBQ that will, as the Southerners say, "make you wanna slap somebody!”

In the Southeast, where the pig rules the pit, the ribs and pulled pork at Moe’s are moist and bursting with flavor. And while that sounds nice, it’s really what sets Moe’s Original BBQ apart from even some of the more higher end restaurants that often braise the meat, finish on the grill, and in the process, the meat eventually loses all of its flavor. But not at Moe’s...the meat there is so moist and flavorful that you may not want to include any sauce at all. And that includes the tender, succulent, smoky tasting chicken, the chicken wings, and even the slices of turkey breast.

As for the sides, the cornbread is buttered and grilled to nearly resemble a piece of cake. There’s “make you wanna slap yo momma” baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, black eyed peas, in addition to the six to 10 daily sides served daily (out of a pool of about 50) that might include (if you’re lucky) a buttery sweet potato casserole with crunchy corn flake topping. But the definite must-have, either while there or for take home, is the banana pudding.

And for fried chicken fans, it’s not simply Friday at Moe’s Original BBQ, but “Fried Chicken FryDay.” Once again, we’re talking flavorful meat with a crispy, not too heavy texture. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a table full of delicious BBQ and Southern style sides!

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