by Dorothy Puch Lillig
Two years ago this month, Michael “Moe” Moore took advantage of a “great opportunity” to expand his business into the Five Corners District, a few months before it would be featured on the Travel Channel.
At the corner of Hiram Clarke Road and West Fuqua Street, he found an existing restaurant space that only needed a few minor adjustments for it to become the second location of The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory, featuring gigantic dishes with a baked potato base — and then layers and layers of meat, cheese and other toppings, requiring names like “The Trash Can” and “The Swamp Monster.”
“It was a good spot,” Moore said, as he wanted one that people could visit more easily from Pearland (where he lives), Missouri City and, of course, the Southwest Houston area. The original The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory is located at 6362 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Houston.
About 45 percent of the customers at the Five Corners location use the drive-thru, Moore said, but — unless you are familiar with all the dishes — you may want to go inside and consult with the helpful employees, who will fill you in on all the various choices from “The Cowabunga,” featuring hickory-smoked chopped beef, butter, cheese, onions and green chives, to “The Super Freak,” which features chicken and shrimp in a creamy alfredo sauce.
Confused? Try “The Confused,” which allows you to sample two different meats. The “Plain Jane” is for those who like their baked potato sans meat but smothered in butter and cheese.
Moore, who attended and played football for Westbury High School, said he had an entrepreneurial spirit from early on in life. When his football playing ended after a transfer from one university to another, he went on to start his own record company, which boasts a catalog of some 300 albums on which he is still earning royalties.
A crawfish contest in 2012 led to Moore creating a special blend of seasonings, which then led to the marketing of Moe’s Magic Dust Seasonings and eventually to The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory, where you can buy the seasonings, as well as Moe’s Jambalaya Rice and Moe’s Barbecue Sauce.
While he moved on to records and then restaurants, football and the local community remained close to Moore’s heart. Moore said he dedicated the Hiram Clarke location to Coach Ray Seals of Madison High School. Seals, who had been head coach and athletic coordinator, retired after 46 years of coaching high school football.
“His career at Madison High School has been filled with dedication, enthusiasm, pride, hard work, and a burning desire to help his athletes succeed both in sports and in everyday life,” Moore posted on social media before the restaurant opened.
Moore’s social media account, specifically his restaurant’s Instagram account, is how the Travel Channel found him for their “Food Paradise” show. In December 2016, just weeks after opening the Five Corners location and a little over a year after opening his first restaurant, Moore had television cameras at his original location for the filming.
The “Stuffed” episode featured Moe’s Magic Dust, as well as Moore’s “Swamp Monster” stuffed potato (chicken, shrimp, crawfish, sausage AND Étouffée sauce) and “The Beast,” which tastes like a bacon cheeseburger on a baked potato. Viewers learned from the show that the potatoes are baked skinless and then broken down into the containers before layered with Moe’s Magic Dust, butter infused with more Magic Dust and then cheese and all the other toppings, depending on what you order.
“If you have an appetite, dig in,” one of Moore’s customers said on the show. “You will be stuffed.”
The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory
14708 Hiram Clarke Road, Houston, TX 77053
You can find the “Stuffed” episode of Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise” here: