Moe's Southwest Grill is feeling saucy.
The fast casual Mexican chain called out Chipotle Mexican Grill after Chipotle began selling a queso dip at its test kitchen restaurant in New York City on Monday.
"These queso impersonators are claiming to serve the perfection that is smooth and delectable queso, attempting to fool consumers across the nation," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Chipotle has long avoided serving queso at its chains because of its "food with integrity" pledge, which promises that its menu items will not contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. In a since deleted video, Chipotle said that queso is "made with artificial stabilizers to keep its shiny liquid form."
"Chipotle management has noted that queso has been the most requested item not currently on the Chipotle menu," Jeffrey Bernstein, a Barclays analyst, wrote in a research note Tuesday. "CEO [Steve] Ells noted in an internal memo to employees yesterday that 'all of our competitors sell queso, and we know some customers don't come to Chipotle because we don't offer it'."
Chipotle's queso is currently only available at its test kitchen in New York.