« Madtown Pizza | Main | Namio's Sports Pub »

Moe's Tavern and Grill

Update 8/8/12: Moe's is now Diego's (same ownership).

In a word: Where the elite meet to try something neat.

The specs: #0761  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at 77 Square, The Dish, Yelp; official web site, Facebook, Twitter 1, 2, 3, Moe's Tavern and Grill on Urbanspoon

Latest Moe's Tavern and Grill news and reviews

JM ate the pulled pork sandwich with fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the bacon & bleu burger with fresh vegetables.
The bill was $20, or $10/person, plus tip, minus a 1/2 price voucher.
JM gave Moe's Tavern and Grill an A-; Nichole gave Moe's Tavern and Grill a B (see our grading rubric).

Moe's was the flip side of Fountain, just a couple doors down. JM liked how Moe's did straightforward bar food with care and no pretension; Nichole didn't care for the Simpsons gimmick, but admitted that she'd let herself get dragged back. So if we hadn't had the list, and found ourselves in the 100 block of State Street in need of a hot sandwich, we'd be armwrestling over this decision.

We got lunch. He chose the pulled pork sandwich topped with slaw, in this case a crisp, lightly vinegared mix of red cabbage, shredded carrots, and golden raisins. The vinegar-based BBQ sauce was subtle, taking a backseat to hearty pork and Swiss cheese, all on a toasted Torino bun. The fries were coated in batter. There wasn't a pickle, so he ate the one that came with Nichole's burger.

Pulled pork & fries

The burger seemed to be the result of an odd combination of mass production and attention to detail. The patty was squishy/greasy, and the bun's leathery top was as close to McD's as we've seen this far away from the golden arches. But the bread was toasted and the bacon was diced instead of haphazardly slapped on in strips, which made it easier to eat. The side of fresh veg & ranch dressing was the buffalo-wingman pair of carrots and celery, cool and fresh. Lettuce, tomato and onion were worth skipping, but for an upcharge you can get avocado or mushrooms on any burger. (Nichole asked for avocado but neither got nor was charged for it, so it evened out.)

Bacon & bleu burger

The menu also offers gyros (a sad, neglected spinning meat on our visit), a cheddar/bacon/apple panino, a chicken sandwich in whole-grain mustard sauce, and a plethora of appetizers that go far beyond curds and mozz sticks (fennel in the spinach dip? Yes please).

We found the tables awkward - as a party of two, you must either be that creepy "same-side-of-booth" couple or span a mighty crevasse in the tabletop - but for larger parties, this place could be crowd-pleasing fun.

We gather that it hasn't changed much from its previous life as Zander's. We had been toying with the idea of throwing a big "we made it to Z" party there, but as it turned out, the Y's were perfect for that.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Same side of the booth couples are creepy? My wife and I often sit on the same side when on a date, leaving the other side empty. It's so rare to get to sit beside each other rather than splitting wrangling kids. Sorry if others think it's creepy.

Mike, I don't think it's creepy. It's kinda sweet.

I got the impression that other people consider it odd, but you know what? Who cares what they think?

+1000 for the Akbar and Jeff reference.

I wonder how long Mo can keep up the Simpsons schtick before the Fox lawyers come crashing down on him. Weird that somebody would throw so much money at a theme that will eventually have to be stripped away.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design