It seems we’ve started a trend here of hitting all the “named” restaurants in the Akron area. First there was Frank’s. Then Larry’s. And now Moe’s. Can someone please open a Curly’s in the next few weeks? For reals.
So, I’m not exactly sure how or why, in the past 17 months of WTGW, we’ve somehow continuously overlooked Moe’s. We may have been under the impression it was too expensive. And honestly, at first glance of the menu, the dinners are a bit on the pricey side. But the sandwiches and salads are definitely reasonable, and no different really from what we’ve paid at other bars/taverns around town.
And it turns out Moe’s is well worth every penny.
Being that this was Ted’s pick, he took the liberty of making a reservation. Which kind of scared us a little, since the last time he made a reservation for a WTGW pick it turned out to be disastrous (*ahem* Gus’s Chalet *ahem*). Turns out reservations are highly recommended at Moe’s, as even on a Wednesday night the place was packed. Particularly on the bar side where we wanted to sit.
That being said, it took a minute for the waiter to come over to greet us. But we quickly forgave him when he very kindly and humorously explained that he had just had about 15 people sit in his section at nearly the exact same time, and he was sorry for not getting to us sooner. We explained that we didn’t even have our drink orders situated yet, and he seemed grateful for the chance to come back.
We liked him immediately. More on that later.
The drink menu was pretty decent, especially if you like seasonal craft beers and local varieties. And wine or martinis, but we didn’t go down that rabbit hole this evening. Amanda chose Blue Moon, I went with Breckenridge Agave Wheat, and Ted started out with Breckenridge Vanilla Porter and then went to a Christmas Ale by the last round. Not to be outdone by any of us, Shane went with … Miller Lite. He’s a man of routine, what can I say.
When the drinks came up, our server apologized profusely for not having any chilled glasses for them, as apparently they were all in use at the time. Please. We’re not picky, we can drink from bottles. He did get huge props for scrounging one up for Ted’s Christmas Ale in our last round, though.
We opted out of ordering appetizers for the table, although the boys went ahead with starter plates for themselves. Shane strangely and for no good reason reverted back to his “moderately healthy” self and started himself off with the half wedge salad. Which was plenty enough for a first course, and he seemed to like it. Ted, meanwhile, went straight for what Amanda or I would’ve considered … well … our actual meal, and ordered the pretzel bun burger sliders. He was impressed. The onion straws (which looked like plain onions from my vantage point, but turns out they were very lightly breaded) were a bit overwhelming, but lucky for him they were easy to remove.
Our server brought a basket of bread to the table while we waited for our entrees, and we promptly devoured it. Because, well, we do love our carbs. And also because it came with delicious butter, which our server explained to us was made fresh daily (along with several other condiments and sides). He apparently created that particular butter blend himself, and included lots of garlic and parmesan. Did I mention it delicious? If this guy ever decides he wants to leave Moe’s he should take that recipe with him and start a butter making business on the side.
(Sidenote: he was also kind enough to tell us that “since this looks like date night, there are mints in the foyer on your way out.” And then was even kinder to be genuinely embarrassed when Amanda told him that she and Ted actually weren’t a couple. Whoops.)
Meals were steak Caesar wraps on one side of the table (Ted and Amanda) and Italian subs on the other (me and Shane). All of which was delicious. The steak was what Amanda called “some of the best she’s ever had.” The Italian subs were generously portioned but not overwhelming for a meal.
We all got the fresh made chips as sides for our sandwiches, and when I asked for a special side of the parmesan peppercorn dipping sauce that comes with the chips when ordered as an appetizer, our server said that he would just bring a large dish of it for all of us to share. Let me tell you, that dip in and of itself is reason enough for a return visit to Moe’s. I think we were all secretly reverse rationing our chips so as to make sure we weren’t the ones to end up on the empty side of the dip dish.
Not that the chips alone were a bad thing. To quote Shane: “They’re like potato flavored M&Ms – they melt in my mouth.” Put that on your menu, Moe’s. I mean, really. And is there any way we can somehow match these chips up with the “meat flavored cotton candy” that was Teschner’s steak on a stick from a few weeks ago? (Thank you to Ted for that little gem also. We’re here all week people. *drops mic*)
Another takeaway from Shane’s review, this time on he pickle that accompanied the sandwiches: “It’s an unusually tender pickle.” He’s on fire tonight, folks. (But don’t repeat that little gem out of context.)
We were too full to order desserts at the end of the meal, but we appreciated the server coming over to tell us about them, and for doing so with such enthusiasm that I think we all felt genuinely disappointed that we couldn’t order anything. He started out the pitch with “I’m a no pressure sales guy, but let me just tell you what we have.” And seriously, I don’t even like bread pudding, but by the end of the list I was ready to order the cherry kind that they were featuring.
(We joked that he probably sells cars at the lot outside Moe’s on his lunch break, that’s how good of a “no pressure” sales guy he is. Seriously, between that and the butter thing, if he ever leaves this place he’s certainly got some lines on useful skills for outstanding job prospects.)
Speaking of our server, if we have one regret from the evening, it’s that we didn’t get him name so that we could give him a shout out here. I thought maybe Jim? Amanda said it definitely wasn’t Michael. Matthew maybe? Our recepit just says “server #11.” Clearly we need to learn to pay better attention. Rats.
In any case, he was by far one of the absolute best attributes of our experience at Moe’s. In fact, at one point we had a serious conversation about how we could go about asking him to be our friend outside of this evening, without being the creepy stalker table that’s asked to leave before they finish their last round (“How do you approach someone? Tell them we’re currently accepting applications to be a part of our friend group? Or we’re not trying to pick you up for some weird sex thing, we truly just like you as a friend? See – it’s not like when you’re five years old and meet your BFF just from sharing a box of crayons!”) In all honesty, the guy was knowledgeable without being presumptuous or overbearing, funny without trying too hard, and just all around likable. You can tell he’s not just doing this for extra cash – he truly likes what he does and where he works. Or he’s studying to be an actor on the side, and in which case he’s got a promising future.
(Just like Shane has a promising future in torn bottle label art. But that’s neither here nor there.)
Overall, Moe’s is a real find, and definitely one of our WTGW favorites. We were thoroughly impressed with everything, from the service to the food to the atmosphere in general. For once Ted gets a certifiable “W” with his pick. We’ll definitely be back.
Picked by: Ted
Drinks: Impressive craft beer, wine and martini list.
Food: Moe’s will go down in history as the place that prompted the phrases “potato flavored M&Ms” and “unusually tender pickles.” And those are both good things.
Service: Outstanding. “Server #11” we will definitely ask for you next time.
Overall: Thumbs up all around.
Next Pick: Shane