Keep Fit: Moe’s Southwest Grill – A Love Story

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is in Hampton Bays, Photo: Jennifer Meihofer

Despite my love of all things local, I was incredibly excited to learn that Moe’s Southwest Grill, and the glory of its Southwestern cuisine, has come to Hampton Bays.

When you grow up on the East End, decent “fast food” is rare. Like beacons of culture elsewhere in the US, Burger King and McDonald’s are the last fast-food restaurants standing out East. And it’s a universally acknowledged truth that those two may be the worst-of-the-worst in terms of food that packs the most fat, calories and sodium. I hadn’t even heard of Moe—and his cousins Chipotle and Qdoba—until I went down South for school. In the parade of orientation activities, I was picked up by my new hall-mates and dropped into a world where queso reigns supreme.

To this day, the hot, cheesy dip is a major reason why I choose Moe’s over its fast food southwestern brethren. Many in the Dan’s Papers offices were surprised to hear of my fascination with the chain. Though Moe’s provides healthy burrito options like tofu and whole wheat wraps, it’s certainly not the freshest thing to eat for lunch. I write a fitness column—why the obsession?

My coworkers would like to write a column titled “Keep Unfit,” where they get to divulge their favorite unhealthy indulgences. But they’re missing the point of keeping fit: I run so I can eat all the Moe’s I want, guilt free.

Aside from Moe’s, here are my top three, non-local, mass-produced foodie indulgences:

Kool-Aid Bursts: It’s the six-pack of 6-year-olds, and to me, it’s almost as good as beer. Better even, after a long run. Just look at the cartoon Kool Aid man on the box, dancing around with a single serving of the ’Burst. It’s just as delicious as you’re imagining.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms: What? Adults can buy sugary cereals for breakfast. There’s a little backstory to this: I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich every day for that crucial early morning meal for about four years, because that’s what my friend Marley—Wake Forest Track’s team captain—ate before a race. (That’s right…“I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops.”) The breakfast offered the perfect combo of protein, carbs and portability, with a touch of sweetness. Then I found out I was allergic to peanut butter. And I have yet to replace my morning routine with something quite as delish. Sadly, but for its lack of mobility from my home to the office, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms and the more elusive French Toast Crunch all fit the bill.

Hostess cupcakes, the ones with the swirls that look like a baseball: Editorial Director Eric Feil leaves the office midday each day to go to 7-Eleven, and he graciously asks if any of us would like something to eat. On a particularly trying Tuesday, the chocolaty goodness of a cupcake, with its soft cake and glorious icing, encasing just the right amount of cream, fit the bill. Eric obliged my strange request, and I now indulge in the two-pack on too regular of a basis.

I think I’ll go for a run now. How far is it from the Dan’s Papers office to Moe’s?

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