Moe’s Southwest Grill is a popular Mexican restaurant chain that serves burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more. With its build-your-own style of ordering, Moe’s offers customers a lot of flexibility and customization when it comes to their meals. This includes options for those who need to eat gluten-free.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms and health issues. A gluten-free diet, which avoids foods containing gluten, is the only treatment for celiac disease currently. It is also often adopted by those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Can you order gluten-free at Moe’s?
The good news is that yes, you can order gluten-free meals at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Moe’s has a variety of naturally gluten-free menu items to choose from. They also allow for customization and substitution to make other menu items gluten-free.
Naturally Gluten-Free Options
Many of Moe’s menu items are naturally gluten-free. This includes:
- Salads without croutons
- Burrito bowls
- Tacos on corn tortillas
- Quesadillas on corn tortillas
- Nachos with corn chips
- Chips and salsa
- Side dishes like black beans, rice, grilled veggies
As long as you avoid flour tortillas and tortilla chips, these basic menu items at Moe’s are gluten-free as prepared. You can build a burrito bowl, salad, tacos, or nachos using naturally gluten-free ingredients.
In addition to the naturally gluten-free options, you can also customize and substitute items to make other menu choices gluten-free. Here are some ways to order gluten-free at Moe’s:
- Substitute flour tortillas for corn tortillas or lettuce wraps
- Choose grilled protein like chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa instead of breaded/battered meats
- Ask for no croutons on salads
- Choose corn chips instead of flour tortilla chips
- Request no sauce or salsa with wheat/gluten
- Ask for gluten-free tortillas (some locations may have them)
The staff at Moe’s are accustomed to accommodating special dietary needs. They are usually happy to make substitutions or leave off ingredients that contain gluten to customize your order.
What gluten-free menu items can you order at Moe’s?
Using the naturally gluten-free options and customizations, there are many delicious gluten-free meals and items you can choose at Moe’s, including:
- Burrito bowl with rice, beans, grilled meat, salsa, cheese, etc.
- Ensalada without croutons
- Tacos with corn tortillas and grilled meat
- Quesadilla with corn tortillas, cheese, and meat
- Nachos with corn chips, beans, salsa, cheese, etc.
- Chips and salsa
- Grilled veggies
- Corn chips
Pretty much any entree or sides can be prepared gluten-free with the right substitutions and customizations.
What gluten ingredients should you avoid at Moe’s?
Although customization is possible, there are some ingredients at Moe’s that naturally contain gluten and should typically be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Watch out for:
- Flour tortillas
- Tortilla chips (unless corn)
- Breaded or battered proteins like crispy chicken
- Thickened salsas and sauces
- Seasonings that may contain wheat/gluten
Be sure to ask about the ingredients if you are unsure. Many of Moe’s salsas, sauces, seasonings, and proteins may contain gluten. The corn options are safest for gluten-free diets.
What about cross-contamination at Moe’s?
Even when ordering gluten-free menu items, there is still a possibility of cross-contamination with gluten at Moe’s. Like most restaurants, their kitchen handles wheat-based ingredients and shares common surfaces and equipment when preparing food. So there is a slight risk of traces of gluten getting into your meal.
Those with celiac disease or extreme gluten sensitivity may want to exercise particular caution when eating out at restaurants like Moe’s where cross-contamination is a possibility.
Tips for Avoiding Cross-Contamination
- Request new gloves for the staff handling your food
- Choose meats and proteins that are grilled instead of breaded/battered
- Verify ingredients with the staff to exclude hidden sources of gluten
- Avoid risky items like tortilla chips that may come into contact with wheat-based foods
While Moe’s cannot guarantee a 100% gluten-free environment, being aware of potential cross-contamination and working with the staff to minimize it is key for gluten-free diners.
Does Moe’s offer gluten-free tortillas and options?
Many Moe’s locations offer gluten-free tortillas for an added charge. This allows you to order virtually any entree as gluten-free. They may carry brands like Rudi’s, Siete, or Mission gluten-free tortillas.
However, not all Moe’s have gluten-free tortilla options. You would need to inquire at your specific location if they offer this. Do not assume that gluten-free tortillas are available unless confirmed.
Some other gluten-free options that may be available at select Moe’s include:
- Gluten-free chips
- Lettuce wraps
- Corn tortilla bowls
But again, these specialty gluten-free items vary by location. Check with your Moe’s to see if they offer gluten-free tortillas or other options beyond the basic gluten-free menu items.
How to order gluten-free at Moe’s
Here are some tips for ordering gluten-free meals at Moe’s Southwest Grill:
- Check if they have gluten-free tortillas or other specialty options
- Build entrees from naturally gluten-free ingredients
- Request corn tortillas instead of flour
- Ask for grilled or plain proteins
- Verify ingredients and cooking practices with staff
- Request food prep surfaces and gloves be changed
- Avoid tortilla chips, croutons, breaded items
With some customizations and special requests, you can enjoy flavorful Tex-Mex favorites gluten-free at Moe’s. Open communication with the staff is key when ordering.
Is Moe’s gluten-free friendly?
Overall, Moe’s Southwest Grill can be considered moderately gluten-free friendly. Key reasons why include:
- Many naturally gluten-free menu options
- Staff is accustomed to customizing orders
- Ingredients and prep surfaces can be changed upon request
- Some locations offer specialty gluten-free items
While gluten cross-contamination is still a risk, Moe’s is more gluten-free capable compared to many other big chain restaurants. Customers appreciate their flexibility.
Where Moe’s Falls Short
Areas where Moe’s dining experience could be more gluten-free friendly include:
- No designated gluten-free prep or cooking areas
- Risk of cross-contamination from shared surfaces
- Limited gluten-free training for staff
- Not all locations offer gluten-free tortillas or other specialty substitutes
Those with celiac disease or wheat allergies still need to exercise caution when eating at Moe’s.
Should you eat at Moe’s with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can potentially eat at Moe’s Southwest Grill, but some caution is recommended. Here are some factors to consider:
- Assess your level of sensitivity – those highly sensitive may want to avoid it
- Stick to basic fresh ingredients like grilled meats, salads, etc.
- Ask staff to change gloves, prep surfaces to lower cross-contamination
- Ensure sauces, seasonings, chips are gluten-free
- Go when they are not busy, reducing contamination
In general, Moe’s is an accommodating option for gluten-free needs if you are comfortable managing cross-contamination risks. But for those with celiac disease, proceed with caution and care.
Moe’s Southwest Grill enables customers to build customized Tex-Mex meals from a variety of gluten-free ingredients. While the potential for cross-contamination exists in their kitchens, proactive customers can work with staff to mitigate the risks. Individual tolerances and comfort levels with eating out at restaurants like Moe’s that use gluten should be considered. But overall, Moe’s provides many flavorful and satisfying gluten-free options.