A distinct style of barbeque that was first fire-roasted in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and later refined in the mountains of Colorado has found its way to Carrollton. After opening in November, Moe’s Original Bar B Que is establishing a reputation among local patrons as a place of Southern soul food revival.
The restaurant, located next to The Amp on Adamson Square, is part of a chain which has been named among USA Today’s Top Ten Barbeque Chains in the nation. Tyler Hamil, owner of Moe’s Original Bar B Que in Carrollton, says the dining experience and recipe can be traced all the way to backyard barbeques in a town known for its unique blend of flavor.
“We aim to serve great food in an atmosphere that is relaxed, spontaneous, yet civilized…well, sometimes,” laughs Hamil.
Moe’s BBQ was founded by three Alabama boys who met while studying at the University of Alabama. The three began learning the distinct recipe in 1988 from Moses Day, a Tuscaloosa resident, who was famous among locals for roasting the best barbeque in town in his backyard barrel pit.
The three boys then moved to Colorado and refined the cooking skills they had learned over the years to found Moe’s Original Bar B Que. The restaurant chain has grown since it first opened in 2001, expanding from Colorado to Orange Beach, Alabama, and as far east as Asheville, North Carolina.
Hamil became familiar with Moe’s while in college in Orange Beach. He later enrolled in the University of Alabama, where he frequented the chain’s newly established Tuscaloosa location during his senior year.
“I was a regular at Moe’s in Tuscaloosa and really found a sense of home there,” says Hamil. “It really inspired me to travel to Colorado and pursue opening my own Moe’s.”
After seeing the potential in the restaurant chain, Hamil traveled to Vail, Colorado, to learn the ropes of the barbeque business. Hamil, like every other Moe’s owner, was required to live in Vail and work with the three founders. He became immersed in the culture of the restaurant chain while also learning each specific recipe.
“The founders of Moe’s want you to really learn from them firsthand, and get an understanding of the culture they’re trying to promote,” says Hamil. “Most people who go to Vail to undergo training only spend one year there. I stayed longer, and four short years later, I’m back in my hometown of Carrollton.”
According to Hamil, the restaurant chain seeks to promote all things Southern, including barbeque, blues, college football, and good whisky. Hamil also notes that Moe’s puts its own spin on traditional barbeque styles.
“We smoke our meat with fruit wood, then hit it with two sauces that really gives it a great flavor,” says Hamil. “Moe’s is a barbeque joint and a meat-and-three all rolled into one. Our side items change every day, and we do a lot of different things throughout the year, like our smoked turkeys during the holidays.”
Meat-n-three restaurants are common throughout the South with menus featuring different choices of meats combined with three side items. Hamil says all menu items at Moe’s are made from scratch.
“Everything we make is done in-house. We use the same meats in our stews and chilies as we do in our briskets and ribs,” says Hamil.
Moe’s Carrollton location is gaining popularity among patrons around the west Georgia and east Alabama area.
“I spent 24 years in the Army, and traveled all around the world, eating all kind of different foods. I’ve been all around the United States and had all kinds of different barbeque, and Moe’s barbeque is really good,” says David McElwee, of Cedartown. “I had the Pork BBQ Sandwich, which is a classic in the Southeast, and it was really good. The sides were very good as well.”
Hamil says Moe’s two sauces are derived from a North Carolina and an Alabama recipe.
“Our red sauce is a North Carolina, vinegar-based sauce, while our white sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce that’s similar to what you’ll find around Alabama,” says Hamil. “We also have fried catfish and other Southern food selections.”
Located next to The Amp on Bradley Street, the restaurant will become part of Carrollton’s live music scene, as it features its own live band area inside.
“We’ve got a section of the restaurant that’s set up to host live music, and we’re hoping to have a variety of blues and southern musician styles to come play,” says Hamil.
Moe’s BBQ also features a full bar, as well as a newly unveiled catering menu. The restaurant also boasts a score of 100 on its most recent health inspection.
“We invite folks to come out and enjoy a good time and good food,” says Hamil. “Come watch the game with us, or stop by to enjoy some live music. We’re looking forward to serving the people in Carrollton.”
Moe’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
To learn more about Moe’s Original Bar B Que, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/moesoriginalbbqcarrollton or call 678-890-1500.