Moe's Southwest Grill named favorite fast-casual Mexican Restaurant; plans Arizona expansion

Posted at 11:45 AM, Jun 13, 2016

Moe's Southwest Grill has been named the number one fast-casual Mexican restaurant brand of the year, knocking Chipotle from the podium altogether.

The Harris Poll, which is released annually, looks at how strong a brand resonates with consumers. It looks at a variety of categories including airlines, automotive, cuisines, entertainment and restaurants, among others.

In the Fast Casual Mexican Restaurant category, Chipotle has taken the top spot the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015). Until this year -- it did not even make the top four.

Moe's Southwest Grill took the top spot this year followed by Taco Bell, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill.

Moe's is a fast-casual restaurant with customizable Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.

The chain used to have locations in Phoenix, but all have since closed, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. But, it sounds the chain is interested in coming back to the state. PBJ reports that the franchise will be opening locations in Phoenix and Tucson.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to ABC15 the Arizona expansion, but was unable to release any other details.

The chain did say it was "thrilled" to be recognized by the Harris poll.

"We've spent the last several years refining our rock star service, shareable guest experiences, and honestly awesome food that guests can feel good about eating that's also good for you, and it's safe to say it's paid off."

Fun fact: Moe's is an acronym, according to the company. It stands for Musicians, Outlaws, and Entertainers.