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Moe's Southwest Grill: The Most Primal Friendly Fast Food Restaurant Chain

One week ago from today I told you that Chipotle Mexican Grill was the most primal friendly fast food restaurant chain. I have changed my mind. I was a little quick last week. Since then I have learned that Moe’s Southwest Grill serves 100% Grass Fed Sirloin Steak. That is a ginourmous win!

Do they cook their food with franken oils? Yes. Chipotle and QDoba do too. If you know of a fast food restaurant chain that cooks their food with coconut oil, palm oil or animal fat please let me know. I would love for them to talk to the owner of these burrito places, especially Moe’s.

Chipotle and Moe’s are very similar. They are both burrito places. Both places have quality meat. They both have awesome guacamole. You can get a large variety of veggies and salsas at both places.

What Are The Key Differences?

The following are major differences between Moe’s and Chipotle that I am personally aware of. I did a little research and thinking and came up with the following. If you know of more differences then please leave a comment below and I will update the post!

Moe’s Southwest Grill…

  • 360 locations in 35 states as of 2007 according to Wikipedia
  • Serves 100% Grass-Fed Steak
  • Offers different toppings such as cucumber and bacon
  • Has Ground Beef (Gives you more calories, energy, for less!)

Chipotle Mexican Grill…

  • 1,084 locations in 38 states, England and Canada according to Wikipedia
  • Serves Grass-Fed Steak, but is it Grass-Finished? I am not sure.
  • Do they serve cucumber or bacon? I don’t remember seeing it.
  • I don’t remember seeing ground beef on the menu.

Do you know of more differences? Please leave a comment below and I will update the post!

Dear Moe and Chipotle: Will You Please Cook Your Food w/ Coconut Oil?

The primal lifestyle is one of the fastest growing movements today if not THE fastest. It’s pretty simple as to why this is but I don’t wish to get into it here. Us cavemen love the fact that you seem to care. You are a step ahead of the game. You serve better quality meat than most fast food restaurant chains.

To Moe:

The fact that you serve 100% Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak is almost a miracle. You care about animals but you understand how nourishing they are to our bodies. The price is still reasonable. I went in yesterday and enjoyed the salad that you see pictures above with steak. I was full when I still had a few bites left. I paid about $7.50. This was because I ordered guacamole which was amazing by the way! I could go to Applebees or Outback Steakhouse. But, to be honest, I would rather not. Why? I love quality food. You have that. They don’t. I will be back. Soon and often.

To Chipotle:

You are also a fantastic fast food restaurant to eat at. You are very similar to Moe’s but I believe you are just a step behind. If your grass-fed beef is grass-finished then please speak up. We want to know. We love the stuff. You have more locations than Moe’s but they may catch up soon unless you take action. The paleo diet meetup group was going to do a flashmob inside your place. Why? To try and get you to serve coconut oil. I am not sure why but this leads me to…

To Moe and Chipotle:

Will  you please cook your food with coconut oil? There are millions out there who would literally eat at your restaurant every chance they get. I know I would be one of them. Primal meetup groups all around the world would have meetups there. Often. Your sales would skyrocket. Is coconut oil more expensive than soybean oil or whatever oil you use? Yes. But, again, you would get A LOT more business. I would promote you like crazy. I think Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple might help a little bit too. As of this moment my alexa ranking is 322,182 and continues to climb. Mark’s is 10,179 and continues to climb as well.

Do you want more business? Do you want to serve your food with a healthier and more tasty oil? You would still appeal to vegans and vegetarians alike. You would not lose any business. You would gain millions of customers around the world.

You are both lucky. You are truly perfect for us cavemen. Well, almost perfect. Moe is ahead by serving 100% grass-fed steak. Hey, is your ground beef 100% grass fed too? If so, I will order that next time I come in. If you begin to cook all your food with coconut oil then you will truly be perfect. It’s hard to reach perfection but this will do it. In my mind and in millions of others.

Moe & Chipotle: Are you ready to make the change?

It’s your turn. Leave a comment below if you want Moe and  Chipotle to start cooking their food with coconut oil. I beg you to leave out animal fats because they still wish to appeal to vegetarians and vegans. Coconut oil is my number one choice anyways. I will be promoting this post like crazy. Moe and Chipotle have to know about it.

Please leave a comment if you want Chipotle and Moe to start cooking their food with coconut oil. Tell them how badly you want it. Tell them how often you would eat there. Tell them how you currently think twice because they cook their food in franken oils. Do your part. It will work.


  1. Dang Toad, make up your mind on your favorite! I kid, I kid. 😉

    I’ve only had Moe’s once, and that was on a work road trip way way way far away from home. It was divine.

    COCONUT OIL, for the win! I’d stop at Chipotle every chance I could! Oh, and if Moe’s would come to Nebraska, I’d eat there, too! 🙂

  2. I would absolutely love it if either of these restaurants were more available in SE Michigan or in the Flint, MI area. I would eat there regularly!

    Coconut oil all the way!

  3. Yes! We’d love if Chipotle OR Moe’s (OR BOTH!) used coconut oil. I know for sure at Chipotle, the pork (carnitas) are the only meat WITHOUT soybean oil. We can order lettuce, carnitas, fresh tomato salsa and guacamole- all soybean (and other nasties) free. At Chipotle, last I knew not ALL locations had gf beef. It was still expanding. We were in TX at that time and no TX locations had the GF beef. I wonder if ALL Moe’s locations have the gf beef and if it (specifically) is cooked in veggie oil. Thanks for posting this- we’ll share!

    • This is how I eat at Chipotle. I get the GF and the soy free options. WHOOT. THEY DO need to change to COCONUT oil. SOY IS GROSS.

  4. What I don’t get is why they don’t just use tallow and lard. They must have tons of it from cooking the meats. The taste might not work on the rice though so if they have to put oil on the rice it should definitely not be soybean!

    • They still wish to appeal to vegetarians. Coconut oil is my favorite cooking fat anyways.

  5. My kids love the carnitas bowl at Chipotle. It comes in so handy when you are grain, bean, and dairy free. It is pretty much the only quick food option when we are out and about…

  6. MOE’s steak are not dairy and soy free. I wrote them to ask why and this is the response I got:
    “There is whey protein concentrate in the steak, this is the milk and hydrolyzed soy protein is the soy- both of these items are binders in the marinade.”

    • They should maybe skip the marinade? The salsas, beef fat, avocado, sour cream, cheese, veggies, etc. should be enough flavor!

      • ICK, that marinade sounds nasty. I wonder if Chipotle uses that, too???? I didn’t even know we had a Moe’s here in GR, though. Thanks for the straight scoop, Todd, and I agree with the person above: lard or tallow would be my first choice, coconut oil is a close 2nd, though!

        Kelly p.s. My blog’s Alexa rank is 81,000 or so and between that and my 20,000+ Twitter followers, FB friends, etc., I’d also be glad to shout it from the rooftops if either place used better cooking oils and marinades!!! 🙂

        • Hey Kelly!

          I would also prefer animal fats. But, they must still cater to vegetarian needs too. This is why I am suggesting coconut oil. Moe’s is by Costco on 28th street. Apparently Chipotle may be the better choice as all the meats from Moes has soy in it. Its pretty close either way. I say to eat at whatever one is closer! I am going to be calling the executive chef from Moes on Friday as he may consider making some changes. I will tell him about Elevation Burger as they truly do know whats up.

          I will keep you updated then!

  7. Hey Todd, Thanks for sharing at Fresh Bites Friday! After I read your post, I was going to go to Moe’s for lunch. So, I called just to double check that my area had the grassfed meat. I was assured that it was. I went online to see what veggie oil they used (assumed soy) and asked if the soy in the meat (in everything except fish) was because of the oil and if they could cook it differently, etc. I also asked why there was MILK in the meat. It’s GOT SOY and HYDROLYZED JUNK IN IT!!!! I am shocked. Why would you take grass fed meat and do THAT to it??? I gotta say, I’m sticking with Chipotle, and I hope Chipotle does change to coconut oil, but at least the carnitas is “safe”- well it’s soy oil free- because it’s not really pastured pork, it’s still a compromise food for us, but once a month isn’t that bad. The pigs are fed corn and soy and Chipotle can’t guarantee that it’s GMO free. UGH!

    • So are you saying that Chipotle does NOTHING to their meat? I don’t like the junk they add to it. I will bring this up too.

      • Sorry for the late reply. Right. As far as I can get from emailing back and forth with Chipotle (who is actually really fast on the email replies-props to them) the meat is just meat. ALL is hormone/antibiotic free, and SOME locations (states) now have grass-fed beef. They were having issues with supply a few months back, so I know at that time (9 months ago) there was not grass-fed beef in TX yet. That may have changed now. The chicken, steak, barbacoa are all brushed with soy oil during grilling, and the fajita veggies are done in soy oil, but the carnitas ARE SOY OIL FREE. We get carnitas, lettuce, tomato salsa (pico) and guacamole. If I want cheese, I bring my own raw milk cheese. It’s gluten, grain and soy free. (and pasteurized dairy free) To me, that beats Moe’s…. but there is still MUCH room for improvement.

        • Thank you for telling me this Amy. It does sound like Chipotle is the winner. But, thats a GREAT thing. I am going to be working with the executive chef at Moes to try and get them to cook all their food with coconut oil and to leave out the soy and other junk. This would then put them ahead of Chipotle if they eventually make the change.

  8. I’ve never eaten at Moe’s and had no idea! I’ll have to try it sometime, and that would be awesome if they’d cook in coconut oil, or tallow!

  9. Hey Toad

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m the executive chef for Moe’s Southwest Grill and we will continue to strive to enhance our current ingredients. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to chat. “Welcome to Moe’s”

  10. I’m quite sadly allergic to coconut. I really wish I wasn’t!

    • Coconuts are a nut and many folks have allergies to nuts (which can be fatal)…I like using coconut oil, but also have olive oil on hand to use when I know I’ll be cooking for friends with nut allergies.

      • Coconut isn’t actually a nut, but the FDA calls it a nut so everyone thinks it is.

        • True, Meagan! Also, many people who are allergic to coconuts can still have coconut oil as it’s the FAT and not the PROTEIN. The allergy is generally to the PROTEIN. Coconut-allergic folks generally need to stay away from other coconut products like coconut milk and the meat of the coconut, but the fat is USUALLY ok 🙂

    • I am allergic to dairy 🙁 I do fine with whey and butter though!

  11. I like in and out because they will wrap my buger in lettuce and if you ask you can get mustard instead of all the other sauces that have all that sugar and canola oil in them. I try not to eat out too often but when I do I really like eating sashimi which is easy to find in the bay area. But nothing beatts the ocasional buger!!!

    • I enjoy In and Out as well. I have eaten there one before. But Moe’s has 100% grass fed steak and they may be cooking with coconut oil soon!

  12. I just looked at Moes menu – not impressed. They use soy everywhere and have MSG in some of their products. Chipotle does not have soy in nearly every item and they do NOT have MSG.


  14. I wish Moe’s would be more Gluten Free friendly, but they are not. There is a similar chain near me in Atlanta called Willy’s that is safe for GF needs, but I haven’t investigated their meat sources. They cheerfully double check the packaging of foods I order EVERY time I go in.

    As it is, I keep Chipotle and Moe’s on my 20 list for my 80/20 spread.

    • Fast food is never ideal with only a few exceptions. Elevation Burger is one of those exceptions and they are popping up everywhere FAST. 100% Grass-fed beef hamburgers and fries cooked with olive oil. I can not wait to see one here in GR, MI!

  15. Please please please get rid of the soybean oil- I am a paleo celiac with a severe soy alleey and I would LOVE to eat at Chipotle. Damn, if they used coconut oil I’d eat there every day!

    • Brazilian steakhouse!! I have no idea what one was until someone brought it up at Primal Con! I so need to go to one! I’ve been to Niagra Falls before and I will for sure be back plenty of times in my life. I’ll put your name on my “cavemen to meet” list, lol and we will have to go to that restaurant when I back to Niagra!

      Japanese steakhouses kick ass too!

  16. Check out Moe’s website & go to their “food mission”. You will see there are vegetarian, gluten-free & low-cal options! The chicken is all-natural, cage & hormone-free & the pork is also grain-fed with no hormones or steroids! Organic Tofu is also offered for the vegetarians. At Moe’s there are no microwaves, no trans fats & no MSG.

  17. No Chipotle’s in my neck of the woods, but quite a few Moe’s. I already loved them. Now I love them even more and will eat there more knowing their steak is grass fed! Thank you so much for the info. And YES-Moe’s- changing your cooking oil would be very good for business!!!!

  18. I would SO be at Chipotle at least once a week if they got rid of soy.
    Also, the grassfed beef is a deciding factor. I actually will not eat meat if its not grass fed.
    Soy and corn are my next no no.

    I beg these companies to switch!!! I’d go at least once a week.
    But get the crap out of your food first!!!!

    Good luck on your mission to cleaner restaurants!!!!


    • Thanks for your comment Wendee! I did email the head chef again and he is saying that they will continue to make their food healthier. So, time will tell. If soy is out then I will be a frequent customer. Right now its once per month if that…

  19. Hi, I haven’t done the research on all Mexican fast food places, but Chipotle has the tastier paleo friendly menu, but Moes has more variety of veggies in my opinion. I went to Taco Bell trying to see if I could make a salad to be Paleo Friendly but it was a train wreck. I posted about that in my website. Thanks

  20. Left a message on both of their facebook pages – Coconut Oil!

  21. Dear Moe’s and Chipotle- Please use Coconut oil, olive oil, or organic/grassfed animal fat! Grass fed beef rocks and I’m willing to pay the price for great fast, tasty food that is primal!!

  22. THANK YOU Toad!! For helping to make people aware of the scammers out there! The people who advertise grass fed beef, and fail to mention how they finish them!!!! Or fail to mention how much fattening poison they were being fed in addition to the grass for the entire time. People see grass fed and assume it means 100%.
    It is SO hard to find descent places to go eat. Not a problem when I’m home. But when I travel I always come home feeling poisoned. My UrbanSpoon app has 65 different types of foods to search by when looking for a restaurant. Do you think a single one of them is titled “Healthy”? Nope. Can you suggest any good apps?

    • Lol. All cattle are grass-fed early on. I don’t know of any good apps. I don’t own a smart phone, ipad, ipod or anything of that nature. But, as I said in the post, Moe’s does have 100% grass-fed beef. I enjoyed a naked burrito around Christmas 🙂

      • Well I’m here in Wi. I see how they feed the cattle here. They feed them bottles of milk replacer as a newborn calf for the first 6-8 weeks (depending on the farmer) because the milk replacer is cheaper to buy, the moms milk is too valuable to sell to feed to the calf. The calf is lucky enough to get moms colostrum the first day. After that it is milk replacer (dry poisons you mix with water to make milk EWWW). After a week or two they get fed calf starter. A high fat/high protein grain mix loaded with crap to make them gain fast. They live on this till they are old enough to start eating grass. So here in WI it is near impossible to find 100% grass fed beef! And this is why I put in my divorce papers that my ex has to keep my freezer stocked with beef! HAHAHA! I know how they are fed there. I must tell ya, longhorn beef is THE best for ground beef!!! Try it if you get the chance. You can always order it from if there is no grass fed longhorn available to you locally. I’m going to see where the nearest Moe’s is, and keep my eyes on this to see what progress you make with them cleaning up their list of poisons. THANKS for this discussion!!

  23. If Moe’s used coconut oil, It would become my number 1 eat out location.

    • I think this would be true for just about any modern day caveman. With grass-fed beef and lots of veggies, how could it not be?

  24. I always loved Moe’s even more so than Chipotle because you have so many more topping options. Since I moved to Texas and went Paleo almost 1 year ago, I discovered a chain called Freebirds that is very similar to the two and absolutely delicious. As far as I know, it’s only in Texas but there are locations being established in Kansas and California. They have so many options! I get their “Freedom Salad” and they will gladly pile on the lettuce if you tell them you aren’t going to get rice and beans. They will cut fresh avocado for you, or they have kick a** guac. What’s even better is that they serve “grass fed, hormone-free beef cooked right in front of your eyes”…they’re pretty transparent about their ingredients, too. If you are ever in Texas I highly recommend them!

    • More topping options including my favorite… cucumbers!!

      It looks awesome. When I visit Texas, Kansas or Cali I’ll have to check it out for sure!

  25. Glad to hear the good news about Moe’s. I used to eat there now and then, but that was before my primal days. Time for me to go back and see how I like them now.

    Yes, Moe’s and Chipotle, please switch to coconut oil! You’ll win over loads of addicted customers.

    • I enjoyed Moe’s for lunch just a few days ago. I got the Fat Sam with Ground Beef. Enjoy 🙂

  26. So what are you supposed to order at Moe’s or Chipotle? Even the burrito bowls come with rice and beans. Are you supposed to ask for a burrito bowl without rice or beans with extra veggies to go with the meat?

    • I used to skip the rice but now I accept it. White rice is not terrible once in a while unless you are very sensitive to carbs. I always skip the beans. I don’t get extra veggies since it costs more but I’ll sometimes get some Guacamole. Moe’s even has mushrooms and cucumber at no extra cost. Lettuce too. And a variety of salsas.

    • Rodney, at Chipotle you can get a salad instead of a burrito bowl. This means lettuce instead of rice. Even if you’re skipping the rice and beans, it will still be filling if you spring for the guacamole.

  27. Eating meat isn’t healthy. The body has to expend more energy breaking down the meat than what that meat would provide. The body thus is in a constant state of malnutrition.

Comments are closed.


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